The European Union Special Representative for Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore, called on the Bahraini authorities to abolish the death sentences issued against a number of political detainees in the country.
Gilmore stressed the necessity of Bahrain’s commitment to its international obligations, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention against Torture and Other Forms of Treatment.
Gilmore said that the visit of the Bahraini foreign minister to Brussels provided an opportunity to emphasize the importance of human rights, as an essential element in the relations between the European Union and the Kingdom.
“I have repeatedly discussed the issues of the detained Bahraini activists with high-ranking Bahraini officials, as well as the issues of prisoners sentenced to death. I discussed the situation with regard to civil society and the special procedures of the United Nations, too,” he said.
With regard to the policy on the death penalty, the European Union has repeatedly contacted the Bahraini authorities to stop the pending executions. That was the first step towards abolishing the death penalty and commuting all relevant provisions.
Gilmore encouraged Bahrain to ensure that trials are repeated in accordance with international law and standards.
“The most recent meeting to discuss human rights – held on February 22, 2021 – provided another opportunity to address all relevant issues,” he added.
He stressed that the European Union would use “all the means at its disposal to continue discussing the human rights situation in the country, including the right to a fair trial, and ensuring prisoners’ access to adequate medical care.”
In early February, twenty human rights organizations called on European Union officials to raise concerns about the deteriorating human rights situation in Bahrain.
This was during the visit of Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdul Latif Al-Zayani to Brussels and his meeting – on February 10 – with the Union’s External Action Department.
Human rights organizations, addressing European officials, said, “It is of utmost importance to place human rights concerns at the centre of your conversations with Bahraini officials.”
The European Parliament called on Bahrain to stop the death penalty, as a step towards its abolition.
It also called for a review of all death sentences to ensure that the Kingdom respects international standards and provides redress for victims of human rights violations.
European Union member states called to support the immediate release of human rights defenders, as it is a prerequisite for strengthening cooperation between the Union and Manama.