Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 20th June 2022.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent representations she has received on the Baha’i community in Qatar; and if she will make a statement.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Annex to the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, published in March 2022, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the finding that members of the Baha’i minority in Qatar have been reportedly subject to administrative deportations and blacklisting resulting in loss of employment, income, and separation of families.
The UK is committed to defending freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) for all and promoting respect between different religious and non-religious communities. Promoting the right to FoRB is one of the UK's longstanding human rights priorities.
The Foreign Secretary last visited Qatar in October 2021 where she had a number of discussions with key interlocutors, including His Highness the Amir. Human rights, including women and girls' issues were discussed, but the Baha'i community was not discussed. FCDO Officials, both in the UK and in Doha, have and will continue to engage with members of the Baha'i community in Qatar. Earlier this year, officials in Doha raised the challenges faced by some members of the Baha'i community with the Director for Human Rights from the Qatari Ministry of Interior and Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The UK Ambassador to Qatar has also raised the issue with Qatari Ministers, who agreed to look into the issue. We will continue to raise these issues with the Qatari Government, including in light of the Special Rapporteur's for Freedom of Religion or Belief's report 'Rights of persons belonging to religious or belief minorities in situations of conflict or insecurity' published in March 2022.
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