§ Lord Avebury
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will make representations to the Government of Belarus on the decree banning a number of religious organisations, including the Ahmadiyya Muslims. [HL5554]368WA
§ Baroness Crawley
The UK, with EU partners, has made several representations to the Government of Belarus on their religion law, both before its signature by President Lukashenko in October 2002 and then during 2003, urging the authorities to respect religions and beliefs in all forms. In April 2003, the Government supported EU co-sponsorship, with the United States, of a UN Commission on Human Rights resolution on Belarus. This expressed deep concern about restrictions on religious organisations. Our Ambassador in Minsk has also raised our concerns with the Belarusian Foreign Minister. General human rights violations in Belarus have led EU member states, including the UK, to suspend ministerial contacts with their Belarusian counterparts.