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Qatar: Baha'i Faith

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 17936, tabled on 14 June 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will take steps to raise protection of the freedom of religion or belief of the Baha’i people with her Qatari counterpart.

Answered on

21 June 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.

The Foreign Secretary last visited Qatar in October 2021 where she had a number of discussions with key interlocutors, including His Highness the Amir. Human rights, including women and girls' issues were discussed, but the Baha'i community was not discussed. FCDO Officials, both in the UK and in Doha, have and will continue to engage with members of the Baha'i community in Qatar. Earlier this year, officials in Doha raised the challenges faced by some members of the Baha'i community with the Director for Human Rights from the Qatari Ministry of Interior and Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The UK Ambassador to Qatar has also raised the issue with Qatari Ministers, who agreed to look into the issue. We will continue to raise these issues with the Qatari Government, including in light of the Special Rapporteur's for Freedom of Religion or Belief's report 'Rights of persons belonging to religious or belief minorities in situations of conflict or insecurity' published in March 2022.