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 Baroness Stern Baroness Stern Crossbench 3:15 pm, 24th July 2019

My Lords, on 10 July the Foreign and Commonwealth Office published an admirable paper, with a marvellous photograph of the Minister on the front. That guidance note, entitled UK Support for Human Rights Defenders, makes it clear that through its diplomatic posts the UK should support human rights defenders in a variety of ways. As we have heard, that is not exactly what is happening in Bahrain, and almost all non-violent critical voices have been silenced. A number of those people are now in prison, living in appalling conditions. Could the Minister assure the House that when our new ambassador to Bahrain takes up his post next month he will support human rights defenders, put the admirable guidance note into practice and, perhaps, have more confidence than in the past in raising cases with the Government when necessary?