Government urged to raise the cases of two gay men subjected to public beatings by the religious police in Indonesia; and to raise the repeated public lashings of non believers in Saudi Arabia for asserting their atheism. UK says laws should be “non-discriminatory and celebrate the diversity and tolerance of its people”

Feb 12, 2021 | Featured parliamentary activity

Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the Right To Believe And The Right Not To Believe

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL12750):

Question Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports that two gay men have been subjected to public beatings by the religious police in Indonesia; when they last raised the use of public beatings with the government of Indonesia; and what response they received. (HL12750)

Tabled on: 01 February 2021

Answer:
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

The UK opposes all forms of discrimination and is committed to protecting the rights and freedoms of LGBT people around the world. We regularly press legislators and the Indonesian Government not to discriminate against minority groups, including the LGBT community. We urge Indonesia to adhere to its founding principles by ensuring that its laws, both at national and local level, are non-discriminatory and celebrate the diversity and tolerance of its people.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL12752):

============================

Question Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of people in Saudi Arabia receiving repeated public lashings for asserting their atheism; and whether they consider that such punishments contravene the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. (HL12752)

Tabled on: 01 February 2021

Answer:
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

The UK strongly supports the right to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB), which is restricted in Saudi Arabia. Ministers and our Ambassador in Saudi Arabia regularly raise and discuss freedom of religion or belief. Whilst Saudi Arabia ended flogging as a form of corporal punishment in 2020, this change does not apply to some Hudud crimes, for which the Quran prescribes punishments.The UK will encourage further human rights reform in Saudi Arabia.

On 20 December 2020, the Prime Minister reaffirmed his commitment to FoRB by appointing Fiona Bruce, MP for Congleton, as his Special Envoy for FoRB. Mrs Bruce will work with ministers, officials and others to deliver the Government’s goal of seeing everyone, everywhere able to have and practise a faith, belief, or not to do so, in accordance with their conscience.

Date and time of answer: 11 Feb 2021 at 16:17.

Lord David Alton

For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today he is an Independent Crossbench Life Peer in the UK House of Lords.

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