Friday, February 6

Statement Before UK House of Commons

Bercow, John

That this House expresses deep concern at recent events in Burma with authorities in Rangoon ordering that services cease in at least a 100 local churches with a threat of prison for non-compliance; notes the concern of some of the local Christians who believe that the immediate cause of the crackdown is church involvement in providing relief for victims of Cyclone Nargis; further notes continued widespread discrimination against religious minorities and in some places violent persecution of Christians and Muslims in other parts of Burma; calls on the Government to raise concerns about religious freedom with the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC); urges the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion and Belief to investigate violations of religious freedom in Burma; and calls on the United Nations Secretary General to increase and intensify efforts to urge the SPDC to cease its widespread violation of human rights, including violations of religious freedom, to release all political prisoners, to open all parts of the country to unhindered access for international humanitarian organisations and to engage in meaningful tripartite dialogue with the National League for Democracy and the ethnic nationalities.

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