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Parliamentary questions
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11 May 2015
Question for written answer E-007570-15
to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)
Rule 130
Julie Ward (S&D)

 Subject:  VP/HR — The situation of human rights defenders in Bahrain
 Answer in writing 

In a letter to the VP/HR of 30 April 2015, 67 MEPs expressed their grave concern for the situation of imprisoned human rights defenders in Bahrain, and particularly the case of Nabeel Rajab, who is still in solitary confinement.

Human rights activists in Bahrain are continuously harassed, imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of expression, and subject to torture and inhumane treatment. The EU has engaged with the Bahraini authorities to obtain human rights improvements, but instead there has been a deterioration, and UN and BICI (Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry) recommendations remain unimplemented. Given the current situation detailed in the letter of 30 April, what action does the VP/HR plan to take in order to pressure the Bahraini Government to:
1. Drop all charges against and stop the harassment of all human rights activists and prisoners of conscience, and Nabeel Rajab specifically;
2. Engage in credible democratic reforms and a meaningful and inclusive national dialogue, and ensure an effective, prompt and independent investigation into all human rights violations committed since 2011;
3. Implement the UN mechanisms’ recommendations on human rights, ratify international instruments such as the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, and cooperate with UN bodies on human rights issues?
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