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 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

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: 31 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Maher al-Khabbaz
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what urgent representations, if any, they have made to the government of Bahrain concerning the decision of the Court of Cassation on 29 January to uphold the death sentence of Maher al-Khabbaz; and what assessment they have made of his case and trial.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The UK is firmly opposed to the death penalty. It is the Government's longstanding position to oppose capital sentences in all circumstances and countries. We continue to make this clear to the Government of Bahrain.

We continue to follow the case of Maher al-Khabbaz and, where we have concerns, we raise them at a senior level with the Government of Bahrain.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Duaa Alwadaei
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 8 January (HL4428), whether they have received any updates from the British Embassy in Bahrain regarding the charges brought against Duaa Alwadaei.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The British Embassy in Bahrain and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office continue to seek clarification from the Government of Bahrain on charges brought against Duaa Alwadaei.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nabeel Rajab
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of case and trial of the human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, and of the decision of the Bahraini Court of Cassation on 15 January to uphold his two-year sentence.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

We continue to monitor the case of Nabeel Rajab closely and have raised it at a senior level with the Government of Bahrain.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Nationality
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures, if any, they have taken to tackle reports of arbitrary revocations of citizenship in Bahrain; and what assessment they have made of the findings of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy that, between 2012 and 2017, (1) 506 individuals have been stripped of their citizenship, and (2) in the overwhelming majority of cases, those individuals have consequently been rendered stateless.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The UK has concerns about the revocation of nationality where it renders a person stateless, and we have raised this at a senior level with the Government of Bahrain.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Deportation
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations, if any, they have made to the government of Bahrain to stop the imminent deportations of Mohammed Ali, Abdul Amir, Abdulnabi Almosawi, and Maryam Redha, as reported by Amnesty International.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The UK has concerns about the revocation of nationality where it renders a person stateless, and we have raised this at a senior level with the Government of Bahrain. We are looking into the reports by Amnesty International.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Home Office
Asylum: Bahrain
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many citizens of Bahrain applied for asylum in (1) 2016, and (2) 2017.
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Home Office
Immigration: Bahrain
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many citizens of Bahrain were granted right to stay without having to appeal in (1) 2015, (2) 2016, and (3) 2017.
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Home Office
Immigration: Bahrain
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many citizens of Bahrain were granted right to stay after appeal of the first decision in (1) 2015, (2) 2016, and (3) 2017.
Q
(Hammersmith)
Asked on: 01 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Isa Qassim
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made representations to the Government of Bahrain on the house arrest and revocation of citizenship of prominent Shiite cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 07 February 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British Embassy in Bahrain continue to monitor events there closely. The UK has concerns about the revocation of nationality where it renders a person stateless, and we have raised this at a senior level with the Government of Bahrain.

The Government of Bahrain have issued public statements that Sheikh Isa Qassim is not under house arrest.

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 23 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Capital Punishment
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 22 January (HL4473), what were the results of their discussions at senior levels with the government of Bahrain regarding six particular death sentences; whether they expect that the sentences will in practice be carried out; and whether any conclusions were reached about due process in those cases and in any others still pending.
A
Answered on: 06 February 2018

The Government of Bahrain is fully aware of the UK's interest in these cases and of the UK's opposition to the use of the death penalty in all circumstances. We understand that in these particular cases there is a right of appeal, as there would be in the civilian courts.

The National Institute for Human Rights in Bahrain observed the trial and have released statements outlining its findings and ongoing commitment to monitoring these cases. The British Embassy in Bahrain and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will also continue to monitor developments.

Q
(North West Norfolk)
Asked on: 25 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Religious Freedom
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the level of religious freedom in Bahrain; and what steps the Government is taking to promote and protect the right of freedom of religion in that country.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 02 February 2018

Bahrain is a multi-religious country with all religions co-existing. Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Bahraini constitution. Members of all religions and communities continue to play an important part in Bahraini society with representation in the Shura Council and elected chamber of Parliament, Diplomatic service, as senior Government Ministers and officials, and other leading areas of society

The United Kingdom continues to encourage Bahrain's successful efforts on religious freedoms.

Q
Asked by Steve McCabe
(Birmingham, Selly Oak)
Asked on: 24 January 2018
HM Treasury
Taxation: Lesotho
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government's new tax treaty with Lesotho is the first UK tax treaty with (a) any country or (b) a low or middle-income country to include a mandatory binding arbitration clause.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 01 February 2018

This is not the case. In addition to Lesotho, the UK has mandatory binding arbitration provisions in tax treaties signed with: Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uruguay.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 23 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sayed Alwadaei
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has discussed with the authorities of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the trial of relatives of UK-based human rights activist Sayed Ahmed al-Wadaei.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 31 January 2018

​We have raised these cases at a senior level. I understand that these individuals were convicted and sentenced to three years in prison on charges of planting a hoax bomb in early 2017.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 11 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Embassies
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps, if any, they have taken to ascertain that information received from the Embassy of Bahrain is factually correct, in the light of reports of misleading statements being made by the Embassy regarding a meeting held with Amnesty International in November 2017.
A
Answered on: 25 January 2018

The British Government has regular conversations with the Government of Bahrain, both in Manama and through the Bahraini Embassy in London. Any information passed to us through these channels is regarded as official.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 10 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Detainees
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 9 January (HL4382), on the basis of what information other than the structure of the oversight bodies in Bahrain they have made the assessment that the Ombudsman service in Bahrain is independent.
A
Answered on: 24 January 2018

The British Embassy in Bahrain has a continuing dialogue with both the Government of Bahrain and all human rights oversight bodies. The Ministry of Interior Ombudsman was established as an independent oversight body by Royal Decree in 2012. In 2013 the International Ombudsman Institute acknowledged that the Ministry of Interior Ombudsman fulfils its criteria for voting membership stating that the organisation "is functionally independent of any public authority over which jurisdiction is held." It was the first organisation of its kind in the region and remains unique. In 2014 the Ministry of Interior Ombudsman's Office won the EU's Chaillot Prize for the promotion of human rights in the Gulf Cooperation Council region.

We understand that investigations are carried out on receipt of a complaint and we continue to encourage these to be swift, thorough and transparent.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 10 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Finance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 8 January (HL 4423), what is the process for signing off each individual programme; and what assessment they carry out on each individual programme to ensure that it complies with domestic and international human rights obligations.
A
Answered on: 24 January 2018

Each programme and project funded by the British Government in Bahrain goes through a rigorous compliance process before commencement. This includes an Overseas Security & Justice Assistance process where appropriate. All projects are regularly monitored and reviewed to ensure that training provided by or on behalf of the British Government complies with our domestic and international human rights obligations.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 10 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Finance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 8 January (HL 4423), what assessment they have carried out on the effectiveness of each programme they have funded; and whether this information is publicly available.
A
Answered on: 24 January 2018

Our programmes undergo continual assessment throughout their implementation to ensure that they are on track for delivery, as well as upon completion of each individual project. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has provided numerous updates on its programme work in its annual Human Rights reports, as well as through Freedom of Information Act requests. This information can be found on the gov.uk website. Many of our projects focus on capacity building and the impact of our work has been, and continues to be, positive.

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Capital Punishment
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made any representations to the government of Bahrain regarding (1) the death sentences passed on six civilians by the Supreme Military Court on 25 December 2017, and (2) the failure of the Military Court to consider allegations of torture when trying that case.
A
Answered on: 22 January 2018

The UK is firmly opposed to the death penalty. It is the Government's longstanding position to oppose capital sentences in all circumstances and countries. We continue to make this clear to the Government of Bahrain and have raised these particular cases at senior levels.

Q
(Birmingham, Hall Green)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 16 January 2018
Department for International Trade
Trade Agreements
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 15 January to Question 121983, if he will list each of the 14 trade working groups and 21 countries; and where that information has previously been made public.
A
Answered by: Greg Hands
Answered on: 19 January 2018

Trade Working Groups have been set up with the following partners: Andean Community (comprising Peru, Colombia and Ecuador), Australia, Canada, China, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) (comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE), Israel, India, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Turkey and the USA. Individual announcements and statements are available on the department’s website.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 05 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Political Prisoners
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made representations to the Bahraini Government on the alleged mistreatment of (a) Bahraini opposition leader Hasan Mushaima and (b) human rights activists Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 15 January 2018

We have raised these cases at a senior level. The UK has a continuing dialogue with the Government of Bahrain in which we raise individual cases.

The UK encourages those with concerns about treatment in detention to report these to the relevant human rights oversight bodies. We urge these bodies to carry out swift and thorough investigations. The UK continues to encourage the Government of Bahrain to deliver on its international and domestic human rights commitments.

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