Nicaragua: Religious Freedom

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 23rd September 2022.

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Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Labour, Lancaster and Fleetwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the state of the right to freedom of religion or belief in Nicaragua.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We have voiced the UK's deep concern about the ongoing deterioration of political and human rights in Nicaragua both with the Nicaraguan government and in multilateral fora. Reports of harassment of members of the Catholic church in Nicaragua are concerning.

Freedom of religion or belief is a universal human right, and must be protected. The Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief tweeted about reports of harassment of members of the Catholic Church in Nicaragua on 10 August and is discussing it with members of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance.

Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon highlighted our concern about the detention of Bishop Rolando Álvarez during his visit to the Holy See on 26 August.

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Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Labour, Lancaster and Fleetwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with her Nicaraguan counterpart on human rights.

Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Labour, Lancaster and Fleetwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the detention of (a) Father Óscar Benavides and Bishop Rolando Alvarez and (b) other Catholic lay leaders, seminarians and priests in Nicaragua.