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Britain in the World

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:17 pm on 13th January 2020.

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Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 4:17 pm, 13th January 2020

I thank my hon. Friend and pay tribute to him for his extraordinary work and dedication to implementing the Truro conclusions. I confirm that we absolutely want to protect not just individual freedom of expression, but the rights of religious groups as well as the right for people to exercise their faith and conscience. One of the issues that I discussed with Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne in Canada on Thursday was a new global award for media freedoms that we have announced to recognise those who defend journalists and keep the flame of freedom alive in the darkest corners of the world. That is not just because we want to protect them individually, but because transparency and getting the stories out and holding regimes, and often, non-Government actors to account can happen only if we get the facts. Journalists do an incredibly brave job in getting those facts into the public domain.

Once we have left the EU and regained control of our sanctions rules, the Government will implement the Magnitsky provisions of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018. That will give us a powerful new tool to hold the perpetrators of the worst human rights abuses to account.