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Uzbekistan: Christianity

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 48066, tabled on 11 October 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to the Uzbekistan government on reports of (a) recent sentencing of Christians for possession of religious literature and (b) the deduction of the salaries of people who have previously been found guilty of possessing religious literature.

Answered on

17 October 2016

We regularly raise our concerns, including on freedom of religion or belief, directly with the Uzbek authorities, through our Embassy in Tashkent and at Ministerial level. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Hon. Friend the Member for Bournemouth East (Mr Ellwood) discussed human rights concerns with Ministerial counterparts during his visit to Tashkent in April. Uzbekistan features as a Human Rights Priority Country in the FCO's Annual Human Rights Report. We also encourage further progress towards full implementation of Uzbekistan's international human rights commitments and obligations, both bilaterally and with our international partners.

Concerns about freedom of religion or belief were raised in the last EU-Uzbekistan human rights dialogue which took place in November 2015, at the EU-Uzbekistan Co-operation Council in May 2015, and EU-Uzbekistan Co-operation Committee in December 2015. We will continue to press Uzbekistan representatives on such issues in forthcoming EU-Uzbekistan meetings.

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