To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of religious freedom in Eritrea.
16 January 2018
Within Eritrea, only four traditional religious organisations (Orthodox Christian, Sunni Muslim, Catholic, and the Lutheran Evangelical Church of Eritrea) have official approval to operate. Whilst this allows for the majority of Eritreans to worship freely, we are aware of reports that individuals from non-sanctioned religions are subject to detention, although reliable information is very difficult to obtain. Details of such detentions are not publicly released by the Eritrean government. We are also aware that a number of religious schools have been closed in recent months. Our Ambassador and EU counterparts have called for the release of all prisoners detained for religious beliefs or, as a minimum, that they are brought before a court for public hearing and fair trial, allowing them to defend themselves against any charge.