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Parliamentary question - E-004151/2019(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Vice-President Borrell on behalf of the European Commission

Bahrain is the second country in the Gulf region with whom the EU has an established Human Rights Dialogue. This dialogue allows us to address all human rights related aspects in the country.

During the most recent Dialogue on 7 November 2019 in Brussels all issues pertaining to freedom of expression and association (including the situation of human rights defenders), freedom of religion, fair trial, death penalty and the overall human rights situation in the country were discussed . At the meeting, the EU also raised concerns on arbitrary detention and reprisal in Bahrain.

The dialogue is followed up throughout the year by regular exchanges, including on individual human rights cases of concern. For this purpose, the EU Delegation in Riyadh (in charge of EU relations with Bahrain) in cooperation with EU Member States present in Manama continues to closely monitor trials and to attend court cases.

In various occasions in the past years, the EU has issued public statements on individual human rights cases[1] in Bahrain calling for upholding freedom of expression and expressing concern over shrinking political space, including for non-violent opposition. Most recently, on 9 January 2020, the EU issued a statement following the confirmation of the death sentence for two Bahraini citizens[2].

In addition, the EU raised the human rights situation in Bahrain in relevant statements at the United Nations Human Rights Council meetings in Geneva.

Last updated: 19 February 2020
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