109. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the trial of persons accused of killing a person (details supplied) will take place in June 2018; and if an Irish diplomat will attend part of the trial. (Question 17187/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Human Rights Cases)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I am aware of the case to which the Deputy refers and of its importance for human rights defenders who are working in the field of environmental and indigenous rights in Honduras. I am also aware of the difficult situation which currently pertains for human rights defenders in Honduras more generally. Officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade met just last week in Dublin with a Honduran lawyer and human r...

111. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the criminalisation of resistance to the installation of a dam (details supplied) in Mexico; and if he will raise the issue with his Mexican counterpart. (Question 17189/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Human Rights)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I am aware of the case to which the Deputy refers, as well as other difficulties faced by human rights defenders in Mexico. Our Embassy in Mexico City is monitoring developments in this particular case. In addition, I understand that this matter has already been raised by members of the EU-Mexico Joint Parliamentary Committee, including through submissions to President Enrique Peña Nieto and meetings with human right...

175. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the fact that an Irish-registered non-governmental organisation (details supplied) is seeking to obtain United Nations Economic and Social Council consultative status; if this application will be supported; if he will request countries to support and vote in favour of its application; and if he will meet with the organisation to discuss same. (Question 15264/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Human Rights)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 175 and 191 together.
The consultative relationship between non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) is governed by ECOSOC resolution 1996/31, which outlines the eligibility requirements for consultative status; rights and obligations of NGOs in consultative status; procedures for withdrawal or suspension of consultative stat...

178. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the steps he has taken or will take to ensure that the Israeli authorities are contacted to express the opposition of the Houses of the Oireachtas to the continued use of administrative detention of Palestinian Legislative Council members who have been arrested and detained without being convicted of an offence in a manner which is in violation of all human rights standards and agreements under international law. (Question 15391/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Human Rights Cases)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 178, 181 and 184 together.
The 132 members of Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) were elected in 2006 for a four year mandate. The PLC has not held a regular session since 2007 and its mandate has since expired. I regret that it has not been possible to hold long overdue elections. I note that there are currently twelve members of the PLC currently held in Israeli jails with nine of...

181. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if the detention of members of a group (details supplied) has been discussed at EU Foreign Affairs Council meetings; if so, the outcome of these discussions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15630/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Human Rights Cases)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 178, 181 and 184 together.
The 132 members of Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) were elected in 2006 for a four year mandate. The PLC has not held a regular session since 2007 and its mandate has since expired. I regret that it has not been possible to hold long overdue elections. I note that there are currently twelve members of the PLC currently held in Israeli jails with nine of...

184. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to intervene to highlight the arrest and continued detention of members of the Palestinian Legislative Council by the Israeli Government without a proper trial or conviction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15731/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Human Rights Cases)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 178, 181 and 184 together.
The 132 members of Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) were elected in 2006 for a four year mandate. The PLC has not held a regular session since 2007 and its mandate has since expired. I regret that it has not been possible to hold long overdue elections. I note that there are currently twelve members of the PLC currently held in Israeli jails with nine of...

191. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if support will be given to an application for United Nations ECOSOC consultative status by an organisation (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15902/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Human Rights)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 175 and 191 together.
The consultative relationship between non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) is governed by ECOSOC resolution 1996/31, which outlines the eligibility requirements for consultative status; rights and obligations of NGOs in consultative status; procedures for withdrawal or suspension of consultative stat...

195. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to a video (details supplied); and the actions he will take in this regard. (Question 16222/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Human Rights)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Officials of my Department have viewed an excerpt from the video interrogation record, and read a transcript. It is disturbing to see that a 16 year old child was aggressively interrogated at close quarters for a long period, especially when it is not clear that any family or legal representative was present. I was particularly shocked that threats to detain other family members were made in the course of the interroga...

50. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the Israeli ill-treatment of Palestinian children in military detention, highlighted by UNICEF as being widespread, systematic and institutionalised; if he will raise the case of a person (details supplied) with his Israeli counterpart; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14133/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - Human Rights)

Deputy Gino Kenny: What is the Tánaiste view on the detention of Palestinian children in apartheid Israeli jails?
 ...

60. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the way in which he can advance the issues surrounding the detention and treatment of persons (details supplied) in view of the recent decision of the European Court; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14050/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - European Court of Human Rights Judgments)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): On 20 March the European Court of Human Rights issued its judgment on the Government’s application for a revision of the ruling in the 1978 Ireland v UK case. The ruling will be fully considered by the Government. It is important to note that, although the Court dismissed the Government’s application for a revision, nothing in last week’s judgment alters the Court’s original 1978 ruling that the men suffered inhuman and...

72. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the actions he plans to take to on behalf of the State to protest at the prison sentence handed to a Palestinian teenager by Israeli courts recently; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14218/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - Human Rights)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question no 50 today on this topic, which was as follows: The treatment of Palestinian minors under the Israeli occupation and military justice system has long been an issue of serious concern, which we have discussed here and which the Government has raised with the Israeli authorities and at EU and international level, including statements by Ireland at the UN Human Rights Council. I h...

81. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the worsening human rights situation in Bahrain and the fact that the Bahraini Government is going to even more severe lengths to crack down on free speech and increase sectarian discrimination; and if he will explore options with like-minded states to challenge these worrying developments and to bring pressure on the Bahraini Government to respect human rights. (Question 14196/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - Human Rights)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I am keenly aware of the deteriorating human rights situation in Bahrain, which I have spoken on in this House several times of late. Despite repeatedly stating its commitment to improving its human rights record, the Bahraini Government appears to be targeting those who express disagreement with or criticism of the Government. A number of worrying developments suggest an increasingly restrictive attitude to those oppo...

93. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has discussed the issue of the continued incarceration of a person (details supplied) in an Israeli prison and the recent ruling against an open trial with his counterparts across Europe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14031/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - Human Rights)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I refer the Deputy to my reply earlier today to Question No 50 in relation to this case, to which I would add the following: This case and its recent conclusion have not been specifically discussed at Ministerial level meetings in the EU. However, EU Missions in Palestine, including Ireland’s, have cooperated closely in following and reporting on the progress of the case. Irish or other EU representatives arranged to be ...

96. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the UNHCR reports presented at the recent Human Rights Council that outline the way in which living conditions across the West Bank and Gaza have worsened in particular for children over the past year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14030/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - Human Rights)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I share the Deputy’s concerns at the reports of the worsening living conditions in the West Bank and Gaza. The reports by UNHCR catalogue a number of human rights concerns that are having a particular effect on children, including settler violence, displacement and forcible transfer, home demolitions and forced evictions, and the arrest and arbitrary detention of children.
Many of these issues are linked to settlement c...

100. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the way in which the report on Human Rights and Business will be progressed and disseminated in order to inform Irish businesses of same. (Question 14053/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - Human Rights)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has responsibility for the operationalisation of a number of actions set out in the National Plan on Business and Human Rights which was launched in November 2017. One of the initial tasks is to establish a Business and Human Rights Implementation Group, to consist of representatives from Government, the business community and civil society. It is envisaged that the gr...

120. Deputy Darragh O’Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the Magnitsky Act; if there has been discussion on this at EU level; if it has been raised at the EU Foreign Affairs Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14321/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - Human Rights)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Sergei Magnitsky in 2009 remain deeply disturbing. From the outset, the EU called on the Russian authorities to conduct a comprehensive and independent investigation, and has criticised their failure to clarify the circumstances surrounding Mr. Magnitsky’s death. A number of countries, including some EU Member States, have put in place national “Magnitsky Acts” freezing th...

124. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the increase in death sentences and the execution of prisoners in Egypt; his views on this development and continued capital punishment in Egypt; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14466/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - Human Rights)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Ireland appreciates the magnitude of the challenges facing Egypt and we are committed to supporting Egypt in dealing with these. This weekend’s bomb attack in Alexandria highlights in particular the security challenges, and I take this opportunity to extend my condolences to the families of the victims. However, a strong and stable democracy cannot flourish without full respect for fundamental rights and freedoms. Ire...

158. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the assassination of a person (details supplied) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; if this murder will be raised with his Brazilian counterparts; and if he will request the institution of an independent, transparent and internationally verified process of investigation into this crime. (Question 13751/18 asked on 27 Mar 2018 - Human Rights)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 158 and 165 together.
I am aware of the case to which the Deputy refers and I would like to avail of this opportunity to convey my condolences to the family of the victim. 
Such acts of violence are entirely unacceptable.
I echo the comments of Minister Joe McHugh who, in the course of his recent St. Patrick’s Day visit to Brazil, publicly condemned the killing and urged that the perpetra...

165. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on calls for a prompt and transparent investigation into the murder of a person (details supplied); if his attention has been drawn to the concerns of the human rights community and NGOs; and if he will raise the matter with the Brazilian ambassador. (Question 14079/18 asked on 27 Mar 2018 - Human Rights)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 158 and 165 together.
I am aware of the case to which the Deputy refers and I would like to avail of this opportunity to convey my condolences to the family of the victim. 
Such acts of violence are entirely unacceptable.
I echo the comments of Minister Joe McHugh who, in the course of his recent St. Patrick’s Day visit to Brazil, publicly condemned the killing and urged that the perpetra...

166. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the human rights situation in Bahrain; and the way in which the Irish objective criteria applies in the case of Bahrain at present. (Question 14080/18 asked on 27 Mar 2018 - Human Rights)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The deterioration of the human rights situation in Bahrain has been the subject of a number of Questions in this House recently, and continues to be of considerable concern. As I have previously outlined, despite repeatedly stating its commitment to improving its human rights record, the Bahraini Government appears to be targeting those who express disagreement with or criticism of the Government. A number of worrying ...

167. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent of the engagement by the embassy in Mexico on the human rights situation relating to the recent Honduras election. (Question 14081/18 asked on 27 Mar 2018 - Human Rights Investigations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Diplomatic relations with Honduras are maintained through our Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York and our Embassy in Mexico is not accredited to Honduras.Officials in the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade have been closely monitoring developments in Honduras following elections which took place there on 26 November, 2017. Officials have been in contact with the European External Action Service, whi...

23. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of occasions Ireland has been found by the European Court of Human Rights to be in contravention of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights in each of the years 2008 to 2017 and to date in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12615/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - European Convention on Human Rights )

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): There have been no findings by the European Court of Human Rights of a violation of Article 2 (right to life) for the period referenced by the Deputy in his question. I have set out below details of rulings of the European Court of Human Rights involving the State and Article 2 (right to life) for the relevant period. The outcomes have included the State reaching a friendly settlement with an applicant as regards the l...

31. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a person (details supplied) has been sentenced to prison for criticising the Bahraini Government; his views on the prosecution and sentence; his further views on whether it demonstrates that the Bahraini Government will go to severe lengths to crackdown on free speech; and if he will raise the person’s conviction with his Bahraini counterpart. (Question 11913/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Human Rights Cases)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I remain very concerned about the human rights situation in Bahrain. Despite repeatedly stating its commitment to improving its human rights record, the Bahraini Government appears to be targeting those who express disagreement with or criticism of the Government. A number of worrying developments suggest an increasingly restrictive attitude to those opposing or challenging the Government in any way. Statements from t...

32. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on Ireland’s participation in the 37th Regular Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council to date; the issues Ireland’s representatives have raised; and if Ireland has raised or will raise the deteriorating human rights situation in Bahrain at this Session. (Question 11914/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - UN Human Rights Council)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): While not a member of the Human Rights Council (HRC) Ireland is participating actively in the current session of the HRC which began on 26 February and will run until 23 March. My colleague Ciaran Cannon, Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development took part in the high level segment at the beginning of the session and delivered a national statement on behalf of Ireland on 27 February. In his speec...

45. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on Ireland’s contribution to attempting to halt the atrocities continuing to be committed against the Rohingya in Myanmar; the aid Ireland is providing to these refugees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12498/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Human Rights)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): In the months since military security operations began in Rakhine State, Myanmar in August 2017, more than 680,000 refugees, mostly Rohingya, have fled to Bangladesh resulting in a large scale humanitarian crisis. The exodus of refugees has been accompanied by credible claims of serious human rights violations by the Myanmar Security Forces. These include reports of widespread killing of civilians, sexual and gender b...