To ask Her Majesty's Government what human rights issues were raised during the visit by the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Bill Rammell, to Bahrain in April; what explanation was given to the Minister for (a) the detention of 26 human rights activists; (b) stopping human rights campaigners from leaving the country; (c) the blockage of human rights blogs and websites; (d) discrimination against Shia citizens; and (e) granting citizenship to large numbers of foreign Sunnis. [HL3213]
During meetings with the Bahraini Government my honourable friend the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Bill Rammell, welcomed the King's decision to release 178 prisoners and call for a renewed national dialogue in Bahrain. While the specific issues raised were not addressed during this visit, our embassy in Bahrain maintains an ongoing dialogue with the Bahraini authorities on human rights issues. This dialogue includes discussion of specific human rights cases.