Eritrea: Religious Freedom

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 1st April 2021.

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Photo of Imran Ahmad Khan Imran Ahmad Khan Conservative, Wakefield

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent steps his Department has taken to support freedom of religion in Eritrea.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK Government takes every opportunity to voice our concern about arbitrary arrests and detentions in Eritrea on the basis of religion or belief, and have called for release of such worshippers. We have done so directly with the Government of Eritrea and publicly - through our annual reporting on human rights and at the UN Human Rights Council. Most recently the UK raised Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) in Eritrea in a statement by the UK's International Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, at the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea during the 46th Session of the Human Rights Council on 24 February. We welcomed the release of Muslim, Christian and Jehovah's Witness detainees in 2020 and continue to push for further releases. We also encouraged Eritrea to make progress on their commitment to the Universal Periodic Review process including the promotion of FoRB.

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