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79823
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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unstar this property answer text While the issue of settlement produce is a subject of active discussion with our EU partners, the Government has no plans to take this further internationally. We are working together to ensure continued, full and effective implementation of existing EU legislation and bilateral arrangements applicable to settlement products. This ongoing work includes measures to ensure that settlement produce does not enter the EU duty-free, under the EU-Israel Association Agreement, and steps to ensure that EU-wide guidelines are issued to make sure that settlement products are not incorrectly labelled as Israeli produce, in violation of EU consumer protection regulations. more like this
100651
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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unstar this property answer text While laws exist to protect the economic rights of women in Zimbabwe, they are frequently undermined by discriminatory practices, customary law and lack of implementation. In politics, it should be noted that there is a relatively high proportion of females in Parliament. However, women and girls are also disproportionately affected by fragile basic service provision and crumbling infrastructure. The Department for International Development’s programme in Zimbabwe continues to support progress on issues affecting women through work on economic and political empowerment, water and sanitation, health and education and skills development. more like this
101127
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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unstar this property answer text We remain deeply concerned by the dire human rights situation in Iran. Iran is one of the UK Government's "Countries of Concern" on human rights and thus subject to enhanced monitoring and reporting on human rights developments. We hope that President Rouhani will act on the pledges he has made to implement social reforms and improve the rights of all citizens in Iran. But responsibility for human rights in Iran does not fall under the direct authority of the President. Genuine progress, while essential, will be difficult to achieve. Improving our bilateral relationship with Iran is in the interests of both countries. It does not mean we suddenly agree on everything; on the contrary, we will continue to have sharp disagreements with Iran, particularly over human rights. But a functioning relationship, including with embassies reopened, will better equip us to respond to those challenges. more like this
101125
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property answer text We remain deeply concerned by the detention and ill treatment of all prisoners of conscience in Iran, and the ongoing discrimination against Christians and other minority religious groups. We have called for the Iranian government to protect the rights of all minority groups in Iran and end the persecution of individuals on the basis of their faith. more like this
99995
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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unstar this property answer text We raised our concerns with the Saudi Arabian authorities when the sentences were due to be carried out, reiterating our opposition to the death penalty and requesting that leniency be shown. Government Ministers, our Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and officials from our Embassy raise the issue of the death penalty with the Saudi authorities, bilaterally and through the EU. While we are fully committed to global abolition we recognise that the total abolition of the death penalty is unlikely in Saudi Arabia in the near future. For now, our focus is on the introduction of EU minimum standards for the death penalty as an important first step, and supporting access to justice and rule of law. more like this
50425
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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unstar this property answer text We plan to place a final copy of the minutes of the meeting on 2 April in the Library in due course, once the terms of reference for the Committee have been finalised. more like this
79578
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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unstar this property answer text We judge the impact and effectiveness of sanctions based on a range of economic and political factors. Sanctions are designed to impose a cost for Russia’s actions in Ukraine, deter further escalation of this crisis, and support the wider diplomatic effort. EU measures already announced have exacerbated negative trends in Russia’s economy; capital flight in the first half of 2014 was greater than for the whole of 2013; and we have seen a significant reduction in expected growth. Russian access to western financial markets will be severely constrained as lenders consider the risks of Russian exposure in the current climate. The strengthening of sanctions should signal clearly to the Russian leadership that their policy of trying to destabilise Ukraine will have a cost for the Russian economy. The EU’s measures have in-built review mechanisms. The sanctions implemented on 31 July are in force for one year, with a review of implementation after three months. more like this
63071
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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unstar this property answer text We have repeatedly raised our concerns about this appalling case with the Government of Sudan. The Prime Minister, The Secretary of State for Development and I all issued statements calling for Meriam Ibrahim to be released immediately. We also raised our concerns directly with the Government of Sudan: I highlighted this case in a letter to Presidential Assistant Professor Ghandour; my DFID colleague Lynne Featherstone raised it with the Sudanese Foreign Minister; and our Ambassador in Khartoum has raised it on multiple occasions with other Ministers and senior officials. more like this
99965
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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unstar this property answer text We have received reports from Amnesty International and others that Shia Militias have committed human rights abuses against Sunni Muslims in Iraq. The UK strongly condemns the persecution of communities on the basis of their religion, belief or ethnicity. We welcome the commitments made by Prime Minister al-Abadi to reorganising the Iraqi Security Forces, integrating volunteer civilian fighters and dissolving militia groups. He has stressed the importance of bringing arms under State supervision in order to prevent abuses by armed civilians. The UK fully supports the Iraqi government in this as well as its efforts to uphold the rule of law and bring those responsible for all violations and abuses of human rights to justice. more like this
65930
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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unstar this property answer text We have had a number of discussions with the Burmese government on the importance of Burma ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). At the request of the Burmese government, our Embassy in Rangoon recently funded an experts’ visit to Burma for the purpose of identifying steps that would need to be taken and issues that would need to be considered in reaching the decision to ratify the ICCPR. We hope this will lay the foundations for further action in the coming months. more like this