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 2015-16 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 Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 07 March 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the effect of the proposed constitutional change in Bahrain to allow military courts to try civilians on human rights in that country.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 14 March 2017

We will be following the legislative process on the proposed constitutional amendment closely. The UK recognises the genuine threat from terrorism which Bahrain faces. We continue to work closely with the Government of Bahrain to encourage progress on human rights, which includes building effective and accountable institutions, strengthening the rule of law, and police and judicial reform. We continue to encourage Bahrain to live up to its international and domestic human rights obligations.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 07 March 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sayed Alwadaei
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations the Government has made to the Bahrainian Government on the detention of members of Sayed Alwadaei's family in that country.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 14 March 2017

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and our Embassy in Bahrain are monitoring this issue closely. The Ministry of Interior Ombudsman has responsibility for investigating allegations of mistreatment in detention. We encourage all those with concerns about their treatment in detention to report these directly to the Ombudsman, and we urge the Ombudsman to carry out thorough investigations into any such allegations. 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 Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 17 February 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Military Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what training assistance his Department has given to the Bahrain Police on collecting relevant intelligence prior to demonstrations.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 27 February 2017

The Government has not provided the Bahrain Police with training on collecting relevant intelligence prior to demonstrations.

The UK continues to support Bahraini-led reform through a package of technical assistance. We believe it is not good enough to criticise countries from the sidelines. Only by working with Bahrain can we bring about the changes we would like to see in the country. Any assistance delivered by or on behalf of the Government complies with our domestic and international human rights obligations.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 17 February 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nabeel Rajab
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will call on the Government of Bahrain to immediately and unconditionally release prisoner-of-conscience Nabeel Rajab and drop all charges against him.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 27 February 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 Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 08 February 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Journalism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations the Government has made to the Bahrainian Government on licence renewals for journalists.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 24 February 2017

The UK Government has continued to emphasise to the Bahraini Government the need to respect the rights of all citizens and to act proportionately to protect human rights, including freedom of expression.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 08 February 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Al Wefaq
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations the Government has made to the Bahrainian Government on the (a) dissolution of the Al-Wefaq political party and (b) imprisonment of Sheikh Ali Salman.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 24 February 2017

The Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Mr Johnson), issued a statement expressing concerns on the day of the Bahraini High Administrative Court’s decision to dissolve the main Bahraini Shia opposition political society Al Wefaq.

We have raised our concerns about the case of Sheikh Ali Salman at Ministerial level, including during the visit of the former Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), to Bahrain in May 2016. Embassy officials have attended every hearing and we continue to monitor the case closely.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 08 February 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Counter-terrorism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of reports that Bahrain's anti-terrorism legislation has been used to target civil society organisations and human rights activists in that country.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 24 February 2017

The Government has regular discussions, including at Ministerial level, on the issue of the operation of civil societies in Bahrain. We continue to encourage Bahrain to develop an enabling atmosphere for participation in society of all its citizens. We are assisting the Ministry of Labour and Social Development and the civil society sector more broadly to help to create a more enabling environment for Non-Government Organisations and civil society.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 08 February 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Travel Restrictions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations the Government has made to the Bahrainian Government on the imposition of travel bans on human rights defenders, trade unionists, lawyers and political activists.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 24 February 2017

​We have raised the allegations of travel bans at senior levels within the Government of Bahrain, particularly with regard to reports of Human Rights Defenders being prevented from travelling to the Human Rights Council in Geneva last year. We will continue to raise concerns where we have them.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 08 February 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Third Sector
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations the Government has made to the Bahrainian Government on the operation of civil societies.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 24 February 2017

The Government has regular discussions, including at Ministerial level, on the issue of the operation of civil societies in Bahrain. We continue to encourage Bahrain to develop an enabling atmosphere for participation in society by all of its citizens. We are assisting the Ministry of Labour and Social Development and the civil society sector more broadly to help to create a more enabling environment for Non-Government Organisations and civil society.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
[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: 08 February 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Zainab al-Khawaja
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations the Government has made to the Bahrainian Government on the case of Zainab Al-Khawaja.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 20 February 2017

I refer the Hon. Member to my answer of 9 June 2016 (PQ 39140). Shortly after the visit of the former Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), Zainab Al Khawaja was released from prison on 31 May 2016. We raised Zainab Al Khawaja’s case regularly at a senior level with the Government of Bahrain prior to her release from prison on 31 May 2016.

Q
(Rutherglen and Hamilton West)
Asked on: 11 January 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Capital Punishment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the government of Bahrain on the death sentences against Abbas al-Samea, Sami Mushaima and Ali al-Singace; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 19 January 2017

The Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Mr Johnson) released a statement on 15 January where he outlined the UK’s firm opposition to the death penalty. It is our longstanding position to oppose capital sentences in all circumstances. The Bahraini authorities are fully aware of our position and the Foreign Secretary has raised the issue with the Government of Bahrain.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 20 December 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Abdulwahab Hussain
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what (a) reports he has received and (b) representations he has made to his Bahrainian counterpart on the reported denial of adequate medical treatment to Husain Abdulwahab at Jau prison in Bahrain.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 13 January 2017

Officials at the British Embassy in Bahrain continue to monitor the case of Husain Abdulwahab and where we have concerns they continue to be raised with the appropriate authorities. We encourage any claims of mistreatment whilst in detention to be reported to the Ministry of Interior’s Ombudsman, whose duty it is to carry out a thorough and impartial investigation.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 20 December 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: International Institute for Strategic Studies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what issues he raised to whom which related to human rights at the Manama Dialogue 2016.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 13 January 2017

​During my visit to Bahrain for the Manama Dialogue I had meetings with delegations from a number of different states covering a wide range of topics.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 20 December 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nabeel Rajab
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations the Government has made to the Bahrainian government on the release of Nabeel Rajab.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 13 January 2017

​Officials at the British Embassy in Bahrain continue to monitor the case of Nabeel Rajab attending each of his hearings, most recently on 28 December. I continue to have broad ranging conversations with my opposite number, His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, covering all bilateral issues.

Q
(Hammersmith)
Asked on: 13 December 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ali Salman
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 detention of Sheikh Ali Salman.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 20 December 2016

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and our Embassy in Bahrain continue to monitor Sheikh Ali Salman’s case closely. Embassy officials have attended every trial hearing so far. Where we have concerns we continue to raise them with the Government of Bahrain, and we continue to encourage the Government of Bahrain to deliver on its international and domestic human rights commitments.

Q
Asked by Mark Durkan
(Foyle)
[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: 13 December 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Mohamed Ramadan
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations his Department has received on the death sentence of Mohammed Ramadan in Bahrain.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 16 December 2016
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and our Embassy in Bahrain continute to closely monitor Mohammed Ramadan's case. We also continue to encourage the Government of Bahrain to deliver on its international and domestic human rights commitments. We have raised concerns both in public and in private, by having frank discussions including at the most senior levels. The Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May) was very clear during her recent visit that we want to see Gulf states embed international norms and see through essential reforms.
Q
(Rutherglen and Hamilton West)
Asked on: 23 November 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his Department's policies of the findings of the report by Amnesty International, published on 21 November 2016, entitled, Window-dressing or pioneers of change? An assessment of Bahrain's human rights oversight bodies.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 28 November 2016

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office received a copy of the report from Amnesty International on Monday 21 November. We note that they have made a series of recommendations to the UK Government which we will look at closely. Since 2012, the UK has worked with Bahrain and have supported the establishment of a number of oversights bodies responsible for investigating allegations of human rights abuses.

We believe that the UK support to Bahrain's reform programme is the most constructive way to achieve long lasting and sustainable reform in Bahrain.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 11 November 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Technical Assistance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions the Government has had with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the provision of technical assistance to Bahrain since 2012.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 21 November 2016

Officials at the UK Mission in Geneva hold regular discussions with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the provision of UN technical assistance to Bahrain and encourage a continued dialogue between them about co-operation on human rights issues. I encouraged further cooperation on 10 November with senior officials during a visit to Bahrain.

The UK Government continues to work closely with the Government of Bahrain to provide reform assistance focused on strengthening human rights and the rule of law. The UK Government believes that only by working with Bahrain are we able to assist in bringing about the changes necessary in the country. While it will take time to see the full results of much of this work, the UK is having a direct impact on areas of concern.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 11 November 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Abdulwahab Hussain
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the government of Bahrain on the denial of medical treatment for detainee Husain Abdulwanhab at Dry Dock Detention Centre.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 21 November 2016

The UK Government, through its Embassy in Bahrain, take an active interest in cases such as that for Husain Abdulwanhab and where we have concerns we raise them with the Government of Bahrain at an appropriate level.

The Ministry of Interior Ombudsman has responsibility for investigating allegations of mistreatment in detention. We encourage all those with concerns about their treatment in detention to report these directly to the Ombudsman, and we encourage the Ombudsman to carry out thorough investigations into any such allegations. We also continue to encourage the Government of Bahrain to deliver on its international and domestic human rights commitments.

Q
(Rutherglen and Hamilton West)
Asked on: 21 October 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nabeel Rajab
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 12 September 2016 to Question 45526, what representations he has received on the new charge brought against Nabeel Rajab by authorities in Bahrain.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 31 October 2016

Our Ambassador to Bahrain most recently raised the case of Nabeel Rajeb with the Bahraini Foreign Minister, Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, on 17 October. An Official from our Embassy in Bahrain has attended all of the hearings to date, including most recently on 6 October. We will continue to monitor the case closely.

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