Nicaragua: Freedom of Religion or Belief

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office – in the House of Commons at on 30 April 2024.

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Photo of Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Conservative, Congleton

What steps he is taking to support freedom of religion or belief in Nicaragua.

Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK is committed to defending freedom of religion or belief for all. We share widespread international concern about the suppression of human rights in Nicaragua, including the right to freedom of religion or belief. We continue to call, in bilateral and multilateral settings, for the Nicaraguan Government to respect democracy and all human rights.

Photo of Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Conservative, Congleton

Three all-party parliamentary groups, including that on international freedom of religion or belief, recently produced an inquiry report, “The Silencing of Democracy in Nicaragua”, outlining widespread, grave and brutal human rights violations by the regime against journalists, academics, political opponents, religious leaders and wider civil society. Our report makes recommendations for the UK Government and other states. What public steps will Ministers take, both unilaterally and jointly with other countries, to challenge those violations, to support the victims and survivors, such as Bishop Álvarez, and to call to account the Nicaraguan regime for such violations, in line with our recommendations?

Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

I very much welcome the report. It was good to meet my hon. Friend and parliamentary neighbour, the respected special envoy on FORB, to review the report—I read it with interest and will respond to the inquiry members shortly. She can be assured that we continue to call out this behaviour—this unacceptable behaviour—by the regime, which does not respect human rights and certainly does not respect freedom of religion or belief.