I beg to move,
That this House
has considered the ongoing detention of Bahraini political prisoners.
First, I put on record my appreciation to the Backbench Business Committee for agreeing to this important debate on the ongoing detention of Bahraini political prisoners. In particular I thank all Members who will contribute this afternoon, given the speed at which today’s debate was arranged. Although arranged in haste, the debate is very timely, coinciding as it does with the 190th day that one of Bahrain’s most prominent political prisoners, Dr Abduljalil al-Singace, has refused food in protest at his treatment in the notorious Jau prison, where he has spent more than a decade for his part in supporting the pro-democracy Arab spring uprising in 2011. Dr al-Singace is one of an estimated 1,400 political prisoners being held in Jau prison, 500 of whom have been sentenced to 20 years or more. I will speak more about Dr al-Singace and other political prisoners later.
Let me declare an interest at the outset: I am the Scottish National party spokesperson on international human rights, as well as being the chair of the all-party parliamentary group on democracy and human rights in the Gulf.