HL Deb 09 June 2004 vol 662 c35WA
Lord Alton of Liverpool

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in view of the refusal of the Government of Eritrea to release over 380 Christians from prison, the Government and the European Union will impose sanctions on Eritrea to pressure the authorities to end religious persecution. [HL3075]

Baroness Crawley

We raise the issue of religious freedom with the Eritrean Government regularly. My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Chris Mullin) raised it with President Isaias in Asmara on 15 January and our Chargé d'Affaires in Asmara raised it most recently on 18 May. We will continue to make clear our concern.

The Government have no plans to introduce sanctions against Eritrea on this issue. We believe this would be counterproductive.

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