HC Deb 19 June 2002 vol 387 cc399-400W
Mr. David Atkinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Turkmen authorities concerning the renewed persecution of Christians in Turkmenistan. [62787]

Mr. Mike O'Brien

The UK, with the EU and the US uses every opportunity to raise cases of religious persecution with the Turkmen Government. Our ambassador, together with EU and US ambassadors called on the Foreign Minister in February, May, July and December 2001 to protest at the continued imprisonment of a senior Baptist and to call for his release on humanitarian grounds. The prisoner was released two weeks after the December meeting. Our ambassador has also recently requested a meeting with the Turkmen Foreign Minister to discuss religious persecution and other issues.

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