I appreciate the concerns raised and depth of feeling on this issue.
Human rights and democracy are fundamental to the values the UK champions on the world stage. That is why Bahrain is one of 31 human rights priority countries for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
The UK has been providing a range of technical and practical assistance to the Government of Bahrain since 2013, including work to bring about improvements in the robustness of their oversight bodies. I believe that working together in this way offers the best opportunity to see the positive changes which the Government of Bahrain has committed to implementing.
The UK’s technical assistance to Bahrain is kept under regular review, is provided in line with international standards, and fully complies with our domestic and international human rights obligations. The positive change sought in Bahrain by the international community will be achieved only by the UK and others working directly with the Bahrain Government and exerting influence.
The FCDO assessment of human rights in Bahrain published in 2021 welcomed the progress made on certain issues, such as modern slavery and their response to COVID-19. Nevertheless issues of concern remain, such as on the continued use of the death penalty – which the UK opposes in all countries and circumstances as a matter of principle – and on freedom of expression and media freedom.
The FCDO continues to monitor and raise the case of Dr Abduljalil al-Singace, Mohamed Ramadhan, Hussain Moosa and others as necessary, with the Bahraini Government as well as with the independent oversight bodies.
I know FCDO Ministers continue to follow and discuss the case of Hassan Mushaima with senior members of the Bahraini Government, as well as with the independent oversight bodies.
HM Government opposes the use of the death penalty under all circumstances and in all countries, as a matter of principle. The UK's views, including our opposition to the use of the death penalty, are well known to the Gulf States.
Again, Bahrain is an FCDO human rights priority country, and I can assure you that I recognise that challenges remain. Whenever potential human rights concerns become known, the FCDO considers a range of information in making its assessment, including meeting individuals or groups when this is deemed appropriate. The UK remains committed to supporting Bahraini-led reform efforts. It is my firm belief that we are more likely to bring about change through engagement, dialogue and cooperation rather than by criticising from the side-lines.
I do not speculate on potential future sanctions designations as to do so could undermine their effectiveness.
HM Government regularly raises human rights issues with the Government of Bahrain, including at a ministerial level. The Minister for the Middle East's visit to Bahrain from 2-3 July was one such opportunity. Going forward, I am assured that HMG will continue to encourage the principles of good government and human rights to be upheld in Bahrain.