On 7 December 2020, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs): Helmut Scholz (GUE/NGL), Dimitrios Papadimoulis (GUE/NGL), Brando Benifei (S&D) and Dietmar Köster (S&D), posed a written parliamentary question to the Vice-President of the Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell:
“The European External Action Service has previously vowed to actively encourage the Government of Bahrain to meet all of its national and international human rights commitments, and to engage in a constructive Human Rights Dialogue with the EU.
1. Will the VP/HR ensure that the postponed EU human rights dialogue with Bahrain will be rescheduled and take place remotely before the end of 2020 or at the beginning of 2021?
2. Will he address the cases of 12 political and human rights activists currently facing the death penalty, and demand that these sentences be overturned in the next EU-Bahrain Human Rights Dialogue?”
On 3 February 2021, High Representative and Vice-President Borrell responded on behalf of the European Commission stating: “Due to the death of the Bahraini Prime Minister, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the annual meeting of the Human Rights Dialogue, initially scheduled for 17 November 2020, had to be postponed. It is now scheduled to take place on 8 February 2021.
During the upcoming Human Rights Dialogue, the EU will address pertinent issues of concern, such as freedom of expression and association, the right to a fair trial and the death penalty, including the individual cases of Bahraini death row inmates.”
Photo Credit : https://pixabay.com/photos/flag-banner-nation-emblem-country-2526547/