To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions his Department have had with their Bangladeshi counterparts on the persecution of atheists in that country.
24 June 2021
The UK Government is committed to defending freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) for all, and promoting respect between different religious and non-religious communities. Promoting the right to FoRB is one of the UK's longstanding human rights priorities.
Bangladesh is a human rights priority country for the FCDO. Ministers and our High Commission in Dhaka regularly raise human rights concerns as part of continued dialogue with the Government of Bangladesh. The UK supports community leaders in Bangladesh to address the causes and effects of inter-religious, ethnic and political conflict. Our development programming supports citizen groups in 31 districts across the country to come together to resolve grievances, mitigate religious violence and advocate for inclusive and peaceful co-existence.
While Bangladesh is a secular people's republic with formal guarantees of religious freedom, we recognise the risk of religious persecution faced by Ahmadiyya Muslims and other groups including Hindus, Christians and atheists in Bangladesh, and actively engage with minority communities to understand their concerns. We will continue to monitor this closely and advocate for FoRB as well as other human rights.