Skip to main content

Religious Freedom: Sanctions

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 109225, tabled on 21 January 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent progress she has made on sanctioning perpetrators of freedom of religion or belief abuses.

Answered on

31 January 2022

The UK 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. In addition to our bilateral and multilateral work, we use our Global Human Rights sanctions regime to hold to account those involved in serious human rights violations or abuses around the world, including those carried out against individuals on the basis of their religion or belief.

On 10 December 2021, we used this regime to designate Furqan Bangalzai, a former commander of terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Jhangvi for his role in orchestrating the 2017 bombing of a Sufi shrine, which killed over 70 people in Pakistan. On 22 March 2021, alongside the EU, US and Canada, we imposed sanctions on four senior Chinese government officials and one entity for gross human rights violations taking place against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. We will continue to draw on our range of levers to address FoRB abuses and violations, including sanctions where appropriate.