Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2016-17 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 26 April 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Torture
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their response to the finding of the UN Special Rapporteurs on Summary Executions, Torture and the Independence of Judges and Lawyers that the conduct of the Bahrain Ombudsman for the Ministry of Interior in investigating the torture of Mohamed Ramadhan and Husain Moosa raises concerns regarding the Ombudsman’s independence, professionalism and thoroughness.
Answered on: 27 April 2017

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 26 April 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Torture
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the risk that Mohamed Ramadhan and Husain Moosa will be executed in Bahrain while the Bahraini Special Investigations Unit’s investigation into their torture allegations is ongoing.
Answered on: 27 April 2017

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 26 April 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Torture
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the refusal of the Bahrain Ombudsman to release the details of his investigation into Mohamed Ramadhan and Husain Moosa’s torture allegations to the alleged victims and their lawyers.
Answered on: 27 April 2017

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Q
(Rutherglen and Hamilton West)
Asked on: 13 April 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sayed Alwadaei
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made representations to his Bahraini counterpart on the harassment of family members of Sayed Al Wadaei.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 25 April 2017

The UK monitors events in Bahrain closely. We continue to raise concerns about human rights with the Bahraini authorities, both in private and in public. We encourage anyone with concerns about their treatment in detention to report these directly to the Ombudsman.

Q
(Rutherglen and Hamilton West)
Asked on: 13 April 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Abduljalil Abdulla al-Singace
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has (a) made and (b) received on the medical treatment available to the Bahraini prisoner, Abduljalil al-Singace.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 25 April 2017

The UK monitors events in Bahrain closely. We continue to raise concerns about human rights with the Bahraini authorities, both in private and in public. We encourage anyone with concerns about their treatment in detention to report these directly to the Ombudsman.

Q
(Rutherglen and Hamilton West)
Asked on: 13 April 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Political Parties
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government has made representations to the Government of Bahrain on the alleged dissolution of the secular opposition party Wa'ad National Democratic Action Society by that Government.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 25 April 2017

We are following closely the legal action brought against Wa'ad. We work closely with the Government of Bahrain to encourage progress on human rights and, where we have concerns, we will continue to raise them in public and in private.

Q
(Rutherglen and Hamilton West)
Asked on: 13 April 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: National Security
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government has provided any training or guidance to the National Security Agency in Bahrain since 2010.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 25 April 2017

It is a long standing policy of successive British Governments not to comment on intelligence matters.

Q
(Calder Valley)
Asked on: 13 April 2017
Department for International Trade
Overseas Trade: Gulf States
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions his Department has had with the Governments of Bahrain and Kuwait on future investment and trade deals; and what assessment he has made of opportunities available to UK businesses in those countries.
A
Answered by: Greg Hands
Answered on: 25 April 2017

Bahrain and Kuwait are important trading partners and there are significant opportunities for UK businesses in both countries. We have been liaising closely with their Governments on strengthening our investment and trade links and we have been supporting new business opportunities in the region in order to promote British exports.

Both Bahrain and Kuwait are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a Customs Union, so are not able to enter into bilateral trade deals. The GCC is one of the UK’s biggest export markets outside of the EU, and there could be significant opportunities in a stronger trading arrangement with all GCC countries. At the GCC Leaders’ Summit in December, in Manama, the Prime Minister announced the creation of the UK-GCC Trade and Investment Working Group to examine how we can unblock remaining barriers to trade and take steps to further liberalise our economies for the benefit of our mutual prosperity.

Q
(Rutherglen and Hamilton West)
Asked on: 19 April 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nabeel Rajab
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to the Government of Bahrain on the case of Nabeel Rajab.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 24 April 2017

The British Government has raised concerns over the case of Nabeel Rajab with the Bahraini Government at senior levels. The judicial process is ongoing and we continue to monitor the case closely with officials

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 03 April 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ahmed al-Asiri
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the statement by the government of Bahrain that an attempted citizen's arrest of Maj Gen Ahmed al-Asiri, relating to alleged war crimes committed in Yemen by Saudi Arabia, was a "barbaric assault by a group of terrorists".
Answered on: 20 April 2017

The UK supports freedom of expression and peaceful protest as a fundamental right in itself and an essential element of a full range of human rights. This must, however, be within the law and it is for the Police to investigate any complaints.

Following the incident on 30 March the Foreign Secretary had a conversation with the Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in which he expressed his regret at the disturbance to Major General Asiri's visit to London.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 04 April 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nabeel Rajab
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have called on the government of Bahrain to drop charges against Nabeel Rajab relating to the making of public statements, on the grounds of human rights, including freedom of the press.
Answered on: 20 April 2017

​The British Government has raised concerns over the case of Nabeel Rajab with the Bahraini Government at senior levels. The judicial process is ongoing and we continue to monitor the case closely, with officials attending every hearing.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 04 April 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sayed Alwadaei
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action the British Embassy in Bahrain is taking in relation to reports of reprisals against family members of Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, who has refugee status in the UK, including the reported arrest of his mother-in-law and brother-in-law on 2 March and allegations that they were tortured and interrogated in response to his activities in the UK.
Answered on: 20 April 2017

​The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and our Embassy in Bahrain are monitoring this issue. We encourage all those with concerns about their treatment in detention to report these directly to the Ombudsman, and we urge the Bahraini Ombudsman to carry out thorough investigations into any such allegations.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 04 April 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sayed Alwadaei
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have received since March any reports of torture used against, or ill-treatment of, family members of Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, who has refugee status in the UK; and if so, whether those reports were recorded in accordance with the FCO’s guidance on reporting torture and mistreatment.
Answered on: 20 April 2017

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and our Embassy in Bahrain are monitoring this issue. They have received and logged one report in accordance with the FCO’s guidance on reporting torture and mistreatment. We encourage all those with concerns about their treatment in detention to report these directly to the Bahraini Ombudsman, and we urge the Ombudsman to carry out thorough investigations into any such allegations.

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 27 March 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Prisoners
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will make representations to the government of Bahrain for the release from prison of (1) Abduljalil al-Singace, (2) Hussain Hubail, and (3) Hasan Mushaima, in the light of their medical conditions.
Answered on: 05 April 2017

We encourage all those with concerns about their treatment in detention to report these directly to the Ministry of Interior Ombudsman. We also continue to encourage the Government of Bahrain to deliver on its international and domestic human rights commitments. We continue to raise concerns about human rights with the Bahraini authorities both in private and in public.

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 16 March 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Politics and Government
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to help prevent renewed political violence in Bahrain, in the light of recent reports of executions, arrests and deprivations of citizenship in that country.
Answered on: 30 March 2017

We continue to urge the Government of Bahrain to guarantee and protect political freedoms for all its citizens. We also work closely with the Government of Bahrain to encourage progress on human rights and to encourage the development of effective and accountable institutions, strengthening the rule of law and justice reform. In particular the UK continues to support oversight institutions, such as the Ministry of Interior Ombudsman and the Prisoners and Detainees Rights Commission, in order to provide independent oversight of police behaviour and detention standards.

The Government of Bahrain is fully aware of our opposition to the use of capital sentences in all circumstances. The Foreign Secretary reiterated this in his public statement on 15 January. We will continue to raise this issue, and other human rights concerns, with the Bahraini authorities.

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 15 March 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Human Rights
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their response to the speech by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on 8 March at Geneva on the activities of his Office and recent human rights developments, calling on the government of Bahrain to undertake concrete confidence building measures and allow his Office mandate holders to conduct visits.
Answered on: 29 March 2017

The British Government notes the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights' speech of 8 March and his comments on Bahrain. The UK National Statement made mention of Bahrain under Item Two at the Human Rights Council on 9 March. We urge the Government of Bahrain to guarantee human rights and freedoms for all its citizens. The UK is committed to working with Bahrain to implement its reform agenda and strengthen human rights.

We encourage further cooperation between Bahrain and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Q
Asked on: 07 March 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Capital Punishment
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Bahrain concerning the planned executions of Hussein Ali Mousa and Mohammed Ramadan.
Answered on: 21 March 2017

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and our Embassy in Bahrain continue to closely monitor Mohammed Ramadan and Hussein Ali Mousa's cases. The UK is firmly opposed to the death penalty, and it is our longstanding policy to oppose capital sentences in all circumstances. We continue to raise concerns about these cases both in public and in private at the most senior levels. The Ombudsman and the Special Investigations Unit are continuing with investigations into complaints of torture in these cases. We encourage a swift, transparent conclusion to the investigations.

Q
Asked on: 07 March 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Human Rights
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to sign the Swiss resolution condemning human rights abuses in Bahrain at the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
Answered on: 21 March 2017

We understand the Swiss are no longer proposing a statement on Bahrain at the UN Human Rights Council. The UK referenced Bahrain in our National Statement under Item 2 delivered on 9 March.

The UK will continue to engage the Government of Bahrain on its reform agenda, and where we have concerns about human rights we will continue to raise them at an appropriate level, both in private and in public.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 09 March 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Human Rights
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government why the UK will not sign a Swiss-led statement at the UN Human Rights Council, criticising human rights violations in Bahrain.
Answered on: 21 March 2017

We understand the Swiss are no longer proposing a statement on Bahrain at the UN Human Rights Council. The UK referenced Bahrain in our National Statement under Item 2 delivered on 9 March.

The UK will continue to engage the Government of Bahrain on its reform agenda, and where we have concerns about human rights we will continue to raise them at an appropriate level, both in private and in public.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 13 March 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Conflict, Stability and Security Fund and Prosperity Fund
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, in which countries his Department spent funds allocated from the (a) Conflict, Stability and Security Fund and (b) Prosperity Fund in 2016-17.
A
Answered by: Boris Johnson
Answered on: 21 March 2017

a) Below is a list of countries in which the FCO spent funds allocated from the core discretionary allocation Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) in FY16/17 in line with NSC direction and oversight. Some exclusions have been made on the grounds of operational security;

Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burma, Burundi, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia , Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Macedonia, Mali, Morocco, Moldova, Nepal, Nigeria, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Overseas Territories, Pakistan , Peru, Serbia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Yemen.

The CSSF also funded, as part of its spending review settlement, migration work in France , China, Eritrea, Ghana, Greece, India, South Africa, Turkey, Vietnam, Zimbabwe and Counter Terrorism Programme work in Indonesia, Maldives, Philippines, and Turkey.

b) In 2016/17, the FCO spent Prosperity Fund money in Argentina, Brazil, Burma, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, France, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, South Africa , South Korea, Tanzania, , Turkey, USA. The FCO also spent Prosperity Fund money allocated to the Commonwealth Marine Economies programme in Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Fiji, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Kiribati, Maldives, Mauritius, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Seychelles, Solomon islands, St Lucia, St Vincent & The Grenadines, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

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