Uzbekistan

House of Lords written question – answered on 3rd July 2012.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will make fresh representations to the Government of Uzbekistan about freedom of religion and belief, in particular with regard to ending harassment of individuals and churches, and allowing access to the Hajj for all would-be pilgrims.

Photo of Lord Howell of Guildford Lord Howell of Guildford Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (International Energy Policy)

We raise freedom of religion issues with the Uzbek authorities on a regular basis. We believe that constructive engagement offers the best chance of making progress in this area and we will continue to raise our concerns with the Uzbek Government. We do this bilaterally, including through meetings at ministerial and senior official level, and jointly with the United Nations, European Union and Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. The visit to Uzbekistan by the Minister without Portfolio, my right honourable friend Baroness Warsi in April 2012, which included a call on the Bukhara representative of the Muslim Board of Uzbekistan, presented opportunities for detailed discussion on freedom of religion issues. We also highlight freedom of religion issues in our human rights report which can be found at www.fco.gov.uk/hrdreport.

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