Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 28th April 2003.

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Photo of Mr Andy King Mr Andy King Labour, Rugby and Kenilworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Government of Pakistan concerning the continuing imprisonment of (a) Parvez Masih, (b) Aslam Masih, (c) Anwar Kenneth and (d) Augustine Ashiq 'Kingri' Aslam Masih.

Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Foreign & Commonwealth Office

We regularly raise our concerns about sectarian violence and wider human rights issues with the Pakistani authorities. On 7 February 2003 the Greek Presidency of the European Union delivered a demarche to the Minister of State (Law, Justice and Human Rights). The demarche explained our concerns about cases where religious minorities, notably those from the Christian and Ahmadi communities, have been sentenced to death under the blasphemy laws. Cases raised included those of Parvez Masih, Aslam Masih and Augustine Ashiq 'Kingri' Aslam Masih.

We will continue to take appropriate opportunities, including with our European Union partners, to raise our concerns.

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