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Pakistan: Blasphemy Laws

Volume 707: debated on Wednesday 11 February 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Malloch-Brown on 27 January (HL175), whether they will formally raise with the Government of Pakistan the protection of prisoners accused under blasphemy legislation. [HL1094]

There are no plans to specifically raise the protection of prisoners accused under blasphemy legislation with the Government of Pakistan.

Officials in London and Islamabad regularly meet with representatives of civil society and human rights organisations to monitor the treatment of minorities including those charged with offences under blasphemy legislation. The protection of prisoners has not been raised during these discussions and no cases have been brought to our attention. We will take this up in discussions with human rights organisations to establish whether there are any prisoners who are at particular risk.

We continue to take opportunities to share UK best practice with prison authorities in Pakistan as part of our wider co-operation with the Government of Pakistan and to ensure that prison standards for all prisoners are in accordance with international human rights standards.