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Syria: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 46104, tabled on 13 September 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the UN Security Council on the persecution of Christians and other minorities living in Syria in the last three months.

Answered on

10 October 2016

The UK Government has consistently supported the need for accountability for atrocities that have been committed in Syria, in the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council (HRC).

On 19 September, the Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Boris Johnson), alongside the Foreign Ministers of Iraq and Belgium, launched a global campaign to bring Daesh to justice for its crimes at the UN General Assembly – this initiative includes crimes committed against religious minorities.

The UK plays a leading role in the tri-annual Syria resolutions at the UN HRC, the latest of which took place in September. The HRC resolutions draw attention to the ongoing violations and abuses of human rights in Syria, the vast majority of which are the responsibility of the Asad regime, and refer to the need to protect ethnic, religious and confessional communities. We will continue to use our leadership role in the HRC to shine a spotlight on the dire human rights situation, and make clear our strong condemnation of the Asad regime.

We consistently use our interventions at the UN Security Council – most recently at an emergency session on Aleppo on 25 September – to highlight the suffering of the Syrian people, of all ethnic and religious backgrounds.

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