Bahrain: Politics and Government:Written question - HL1299

Asked on: 18 July 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Politics and Government
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their response to the recent actions of the government of Bahrain towards the main Shia opposition group; what is their assessment of the state of human rights in that country; and whether the development of a new Royal Naval base in Bahrain is progressing.
Answered on: 01 August 2016

The Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Mr Johnson), issued a statement on 17 July expressing concerns about the Bahraini High Administrative Court’s decision to dissolve the main Bahraini Shia opposition political society Al Wefaq. We continue to follow the case closely. We have urged the Government of Bahrain to protect political freedoms and representation for all Bahraini citizens and to encourage all sides to engage in constructive and inclusive dialogue to promote social cohesion and inclusivity.

We regularly discuss human rights and reform with the Government of Bahrain and it is a standing agenda item for the biannual UK-Bahrain Joint Working Group meeting, held most recently in June 2016. The former Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), also raised concerns about recent developments with the Bahraini Foreign Minister on 14 June, and during his visit to Bahrain on 30 May.

We have begun work on the future UK maritime hub at Mina Salman in Bahrain, HMS Juffair, to support Royal Navy deployments. We continue to maintain a naval presence which includes mine countermeasure ships, frigates, destroyers and maritime helicopters to contribute to the stability of the region and to make sure vital sea lanes remain open in the region.

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