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Bahrain - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:15 pm on 24th July 2019.

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Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State 3:15 pm, 24th July 2019

The noble Lord is right to raise the issue of executions and the death penalty. My understanding is that, between 2010 and now, there have been three executions, which are three too many and we continue, of course, to express concern. The noble Lord and I generally find ourselves in agreement on human rights issues, but I differ from him in that I believe the support we give Bahrain is helping to safeguard women’s rights. Women’s organisations are active in Bahrain and freely run campaigns calling for equality, especially on sexual health rights, but this does not take away from the facts. Do issues and serious concerns remain? Of course they do, but I believe that our engagement helps address those issues. Engagement and support, particularly in training—ensuring that the training and standards of people responsible for these institutions is at a high level—are a way forward; not doing that training, I believe, would be a step backward.