To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the level of persecution of Muslims in (a) China and (b) North Korea.
3 February 2015
Although Islam is a state-sanctioned religion in China, Muslims continue to face restrictions on their religious rights, particularly in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. British officials conduct a rhythm of regular monitoring visits to this region, and have observed restrictions on the celebration of Ramadan, restricted access to Mosques, and the discouraging of certain Islamic dress. We raised our concerns during the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue in May 2014, and continue to do so as part of our broader relationship.
According to the authorities in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), there are a small number of state-sanctioned places of worship, although we are unaware of any facilities for practicing Muslims outside Diplomatic Missions. The majority of the DPRK’s small Muslim community are foreign nationals. We are unaware of any recent reports of persecution of Muslims. However, there are many reports that North Koreans who are involved in any religious activity outside of state-controlled organisations have been imprisoned for practising their beliefs. We regularly raise our concerns with the DPRK authorities.