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Tajikistan: Religious Freedom

Volume 458: debated on Tuesday 13 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support she is making available to promote legislation in Tajikistan that respects the freedoms of all religious communities and individuals; and what representations she has made to the UN Tajikistan Office of Peace-Building on the promotion of freedom of religion. (126696)

Our ambassador in Dushanbe, together with his EU colleagues, is following developments relating to the draft law on religious organisations extremely closely.

The UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Asma Jahangir, recently visited Tajikistan to examine questions related to respect for freedom of religious communities and individuals. The UN special rapporteur will present a report of her visit to the UN Human Rights Council.

The UK has funded a wide range of projects in Tajikistan which support the development of independent media and civil society. We also work closely with the international community in Tajikistan, including with the UN Tajikistan Office of Peace-building and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, who have programmes on developing civil society, promoting good governance and monitoring human rights.