Abdul Shakoor:Written question - HL14444

Asked on: 12 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Abdul Shakoor
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they last raised the case of Abdul Shakoor with the government of Pakistan.
A
Answered on: 21 March 2019

We are aware of Mr Shakoor's case who is an 84 year old bookshop owner. We remain deeply concerned about reports of discrimination and abuses against the Ahmadiyya community and other religious minorities in Pakistan. The Government strongly condemns the persecution of all minorities, including the targeting of innocent people based on their beliefs.

We regularly raise our concerns about the protection of minority communities, including Ahmadiyya Muslims, with the Pakistani Government at a senior level.

At the UN Periodic Review of Pakistan’s human rights record in November 2017, the UK raised concerns about limits on freedoms of expression and religion or belief, particularly for the Christian and Ahmadiyya Muslim communities, as well as the increased misuse of terror legislation to portray religious publications of minority communities as hate material.

I discussed the treatment of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community and Abdul Shakoor's case with Pakistan’s Human Rights Minister in February 2019 during my visit to Islamabad. I am pleased to report that Abdul Shakoor was released on the 18 March 2019.

We will continue to urge the Government of Pakistan to guarantee fully the rights of all Pakistani citizens, including religious minorities, and to honour its international obligations.

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