Serikzhan Bilash

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 21st March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Kazakhstan about the arrest of Serikzhan Bilash; and what assessment they have made of (1) any link between that arrest and campaigns against the detention in Xinjiang of religious minorities; and (2) his well-being.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State

Mr Bilash has been arrested on charges of hate speech, following allegations he made a public statement calling for "jihad" against ethnic Chinese. He will now be subject to due legal process within Kazakhstan's judicial system. Her Majesty's Government will continue to monitor developments in this case, and will keep under review the question of future representations to the Kazakh authorities.

We have serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang. We are continuing to monitor reports and gather information about the developing situation, including through conducting official visits to Xinjiang. We work closely with a wide range of international partners – in and out of the EU – to share information and maximise impact. Ministers and senior officials have been raising our concerns directly with the Chinese authorities for a number of years and will continue to do so.

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