House of Lords
Lord Patten (Conservative)
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Warsi on 24 September (WA 336), whether they intend to take any new initiatives to promote the human rights and freedoms of Bahraini citizens.
Baroness Warsi (Conservative)
The Government of Bahrain have stated their commitment to improving the country's human rights record, most recently during their acceptance of 145 Universal Periodic Review recommendations at the UN Human Rights Council.
The UK remains committed to helping Bahrain in its efforts and will continue to raise any concerns on human rights with the Bahraini authorities for as long as it is necessary. We will welcome the Minister for Human Rights on a visit to the UK later this month for discussions on the UPR recommendations and to identify appropriate training programmes for Bahraini officials.
The Bahraini Minister for Justice visited the UK in July and made specific requests for UK assistance. We are working through the Arab Partnership and the Conflict Pool to support Bahrain on justice and human rights, including through a visit by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons to help the Bahrainis with a system for independent monitoring of detention centres, and the provision of expert advice on reform of the legal system.
Bahrain is also included in a recently approved Arab Partnership project working to support civil society organisations across the Middle East region to address media reform and freedom of expression.