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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

I am delighted that the noble Baroness noticed my photograph, so I thank her for that. On the more pertinent and important issue of the guidance, I think it was right that we issued it. To be candid and up front with everyone, it took a bit of time to get to the point where we were able to do so, but we did it hand in glove with human rights organisations, including Amnesty International, and I am grateful for its support in that respect. On specific cases, I agree with the noble Baroness. The new ambassador will raise these cases, as our current ambassador does. We have been very active and we spend much of our resource on this. Quite often we receive inquiries from human rights defenders such as Sayed al-Wadaei and we respond directly to them. There have been numerous Parliamentary Questions. We have raised specifically the cases of Bahraini nationals, including Hajar Mansoor Hassan, Sayed Nizar al-Wadaei and Mahmoud Marzouk Mansour, at senior levels within the Bahraini Government. The Bahraini Government have also been clear that those convictions are not related to the activities of Mr al-Wadaei himself. We will continue to remain vigilant, and I look forward to working with noble Lords on this important issue.