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Myanmar: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 13997, tabled on 7 February 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to the government in Myanmar on the authorities treatment of (a) Kachin Christians and (b) Rohingya Muslims in that country.

Answered on

12 February 2020

The UK continues to make representations to the Government of Myanmar about the need to protect the Kachin, Rohingya and other minority groups in Myanmar. We agree with the UN Fact Finding Mission's report that the Myanmar Military is responsible for serious human rights violations in Rakhine and Kachin State.

In September 2019, Baroness Sugg raised the Rakhine Advisory Commission (RAC) recommendations with the Rakhine State Government. If properly implemented, the RAC recommendations would improve the lives of the Rohingya currently in Myanmar and create the conditions for the Rohingya in Bangladesh to return to Myanmar in a safe, dignified, voluntary and sustainable way. On 23 January, I encouraged the Government of Myanmar to abide by the International Court of Justice's provisional measures and implement the recommendations of the Independent Commission of Enquiry in order to protect the Rohingya and to bring the perpetrators of atrocities to justice. The British Ambassador to Myanmar reinforced these points with the Myanmar Minister for International Co-operation, Kyaw Tin.

We remain concerned by restrictions on Freedom of Religion or Belief in Myanmar. We have raised our concerns about destruction of places of worship and discriminatory provisions within citizenship laws. In July 2019, The British Ambassador to Myanmar raised the issue of religious persecution and expressed concern at reports of forced conversions (to Buddhism) with the Myanmar Minister of Religious and Cultural Affairs.

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