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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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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
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
100388
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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unstar this property answer text We continue to work closely with the Nigerian authorities and our other partners in the search for the abducted Chibok girls. On 3 September, my Hon Friend, the Member for Southend and Rochford East (James Duddridge MP), the Minister for Africa, led the UK delegation to the Abuja ministerial meeting on security in Nigeria. At this meeting, he emphasised the importance of regional coordination between Nigeria and its neighbours in defeating Boko Haram and locating the girls. The Prime Minister has stressed to President Jonathan our continued commitment to helping the Nigerian Government find the girls. It is not yet clear what impact the recently announced ceasefire between the Nigerian security forces and Boko Haram might have on the missing Chibok girls. We are monitoring events closely. more like this
100382
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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unstar this property answer text We are working closely with international partners, including Gulf countries, to tackle the shared threat posed by ISIL. UK Ministers and officials have had a number of discussions recently with Gulf partners about coalition action against ISIL. The Prime Minister discussed the issue with His Majesty, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on 8 October. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge discussed it with his Gulf counterparts on 14 October at the UK-GCC Foreign Ministers meeting in Kuwait. I discussed it with the Saudi Arabian ambassador earlier this month and with the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs on 21 October. more like this
100077
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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unstar this property answer text We are concerned to hear that a Pakistan court has upheld the imposition of the death penalty in the case of Asia Bibi. We support the EU's recent statement of concern and hope that the verdict will be overturned on appeal. We regularly raise at the highest levels the misuse of blasphemy laws in Pakistan both against Muslims and against religious minorities. We have consistently pressed the Government of Pakistan on the issue of the death penalty and expressed our principled opposition to it in all cases. We will continue to raise these issues. more like this
100650
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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unstar this property answer text We are aware of the case of Ms Soni Sori but have made no representations on it. We continue to monitor the general human rights situation in India. This includes maintaining a dialogue with Indian officials , not least through the EU-India human rights dialogue which most recently took place on 27 November 2013. more like this
100380
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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unstar this property answer text We are aware of reports in the public domain of the use by ISIL in Kobani of industrial chemicals as weapons. We condemn unreservedly all and any use of chemical weapons. Use is a breach of international norms. Any party using chemical weapons should be brought to justice. more like this