The Bishop of Durham received the following written answers on 17th April 2023:
The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to support (1) freedom of speech, and (2) freedom of the press, in Burundi.
Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park (Con): The UK Government welcomes the Government of Burundi’s stated commitment to improving the human rights situation and the recent steps taken which demonstrate progress in this regard. We note reports of human rights violations and abuses being committed against the political opposition and critical voices, which we regularly discuss at a senior level with the Government of Burundi. We continue to call on the Government of Burundi to ensure that Burundi develops along a positive trajectory and look forward to Burundi’s Universal Periodic Review this year. We urge the Government of Burundi to fully implement the recommendations made in the last review.
The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to help prevent the polio virus outbreak in Burundi from spreading.
Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: We note reports of a recent outbreak of polio in Burundi and urge the Government of Burundi to continue taking preventative measures to limit further risks to the population. FCDO officials have engaged with international partners to discuss how we can limit the outbreak of polio worldwide.
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