Ireland Concerned over Bahrain’s ‘Considerable Restrictions of Fundamental Freedoms’

2018-12-22 - 3:59 م

Bahrain Mirror: Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has expressed concern about the "considerable restrictions of fundamental freedoms" in Bahrain following the Middle Eastern nation's parliamentary elections last month.

In a letter to Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins, seen by The Irish Times, Mr Coveney acknowledged that serious concerns had been raised about the legitimacy of the vote held in November and that Human Rights Watch has claimed the elections took place in a "repressive political environment".

The Minister noted that in order to be effective in promoting human rights worldwide, Irish policy makers must "raise our voice in an appropriate way and at the right opportunities, so that our concerns are taken seriously and acted upon".

The response follows a letter submitted to the Minister on November 14th on behalf of more than 75 TDs and senators expressing "grave concern over the government of Bahrain's suppression of civil and political society" ahead of the country's parliamentary elections which were held in late November.

In the letter sent to Mr Coveney, Irish TDs underlined that Bahraini authorities had "forcibly dissolved all major opposition groups, shut down the only independent newspaper, and jailed thousands of political prisoners" and as a result was "not meeting the conditions necessary for fair and free elections".

Mr Coveney said the Irish Government had regularly conveyed its concerns regarding Bahrain's human rights record through the Bahraini embassy in London and through Ireland's non-resident ambassador to Bahrain.

He also noted that Ireland regularly raises the case of human rights abuses in Bahrain at the UN's Human Rights Council in Geneva where, in September, Irish representatives called on Bahrain to "respect freedom of opinion and express, and the right to a fair trial".

The Minister said he supported a recent statement from the EU spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy which noted that the sentencing of opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman was "another worrying step in the direction of confrontation and polarisation in Bahrain, undermining the chances of an inclusive political debate".


Arabic Version


التعليقات المنشورة لا تعبر بالضرورة عن رأي الموقع

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