To ask Her Majesty's Government what reports from Sudan they have received over the past 12 months about (1) the arrest of opposition politicians, (2) violations of religious freedom, (3) the arrest of journalists and bloggers, (4) the suppression of publications, (5) the lashing of women for failing to wear acceptable clothing, and (6) statements by Field Marshal Bashir calling for the reintroduction of amputations and executions.
Human rights remain a key priority for our engagement with the Government of Sudan, and we will continue to pursue our human rights objectives through the UK-Sudan Strategic Dialogue. During our recent visits to Sudan, the Minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin MP, and I discussed the need for the Government of Sudan to make concerted efforts to improve the human rights situation.
We have received a number of reports of restrictions on freedom of expression and the media, including the detention of opposition figures, the arrest of journalists, and the suppression of publications. We regularly raise these at a senior level with the Government of Sudan. Freedom of expression is a basic human right and we continue to make clear to the Government of Sudan that the Sudanese people must be allowed to exercise their rights freely.
While there is generally freedom of worship in Sudan, our Embassy in Khartoum has had reports of a number of restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, including limitations to Christian school opening days, the demolition of churches, and the lashing of women. I held a roundtable with religious leaders during my recent visit, and raised these issues with the Government. The promotion of freedom of religion or belief as a means of enhancing tolerance and inclusion remains a key part of our engagement with Sudan.
The UK continues to make clear our strong opposition to the use of the death penalty, and of mutilation as a punishment, in all circumstances.