Bishops ask Government about religious freedom and death penalty in Saudi Arabia

On 28th October 2015 the Bishops of St Albans and Coventry received written answers to questions of Government on religious freedom in Saudi Arabia and its use of the death penalty.


Bishop of St Albans

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Saudi Arabia concerning the cases of Dawood Hussein al-Marhoon and Abdullah Hasan al-Zaher.  Continue reading “Bishops ask Government about religious freedom and death penalty in Saudi Arabia”

Bishop of Coventry asks Government if it will review UK’s commercial relationship with Saudi Arabia

On the 27th October 2015 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received a written answer to a question about the UK’s commercial relationship with Saudi Arabia.


Bp Coventry May 2015The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will review their commercial relationship with Saudi Arabia in the light of the sentencing of Ali Mohammed al-Nimr to death by crucifixion. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks Government if it will review UK’s commercial relationship with Saudi Arabia”

Bishop of Bristol asks Government about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record

On 13th October 2015 the Bishop of Bristol, Rt Rev Mike Hill, received answers to two written questions of Government on Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.


Bishop of Bristol June 2015The Lord Bishop of Bristol: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the appointment of Saudi Arabia to head a panel at the UN Human Rights Council. Continue reading “Bishop of Bristol asks Government about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record”

Bishop of Coventry raises case of Ali Mohammed al-Nimr and capital punishment in Saudi Arabia

On 13th October 2015 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Rev Christopher Cocksworth, received written answers to questions on the use of crucifixion as criminal punishment in Saudi Arabia and the case of Ali Mohammed al-Nimr.

13.10 Bishop of CoventryThe Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to Saudi Arabia regarding the use of beheading and crucifixion as criminal punishments.


Baroness Anelay of St Johns: The British Government opposes the death penalty in all circumstances, especially in cases which do not meet the minimum standards defined by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. We believe it undermines human dignity and there is no evidence that it works as a deterrent. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry raises case of Ali Mohammed al-Nimr and capital punishment in Saudi Arabia”

Bishop of Coventry asks about religious clerics in Saudi Arabia

On 8th July 2015 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received a written reply to a question on Saudi Arabia.

13.10 Bishop of CoventryThe Lord Bishop of Coventry To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the steps taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to combat exclusionary and intolerant interpretations of religious texts by religious clerics. [HL863] Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks about religious clerics in Saudi Arabia”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about religious freedom in Saudi Arabia and case of Raif Badawi

On the 11th June 2015 Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty’s Government “what representations they have made to the government of Saudi Arabia about the confirmation of a sentence of 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison against Raif Badawi.” The Bishop of St Albans , Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a supplementary question:

Bishop of St AlbansThe Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, your Lordships’ House will not be unaware of the discrepancy between the attitude to human rights displayed in Saudi Arabia’s public condemnation of the Charlie Hebdo atrocities and this case, where somebody is being punished on the basis of religion. Does the Minister agree that there is a considerable dissonance between the public image that Saudi Arabia is seeking to present and the country’s internal affairs?

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: My Lords, I think we have to recognise that the actions of the Saudi Government in these respects have the support of the vast majority of the Saudi population. Against that background, we maintain our view that freedom of religion and belief and freedom of expression are core rights that lead to long-term stability and good governance.

(via Parliament.uk)

Bishop of St Albans – Saudi Arabia (Written Answer)

On 26th January 2015, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received an answer to a written question on freedom of expression in Saudi Arabia.

Bishop of St AlbansThe Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Saudi Arabia on behalf of Raif Bedawi. [HL4076]

Baroness Anelay of St Johns (Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): We are seriously concerned by Raif Badawi’s case. The UK condemns the use of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment in all circumstances. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond) has raised the matter with the Saudi Ambassador. We have previously raised the case at a senior level with the Saudi authorities. The UK is a strong supporter of freedom of expression around the world. We believe that people must be allowed to freely discuss and debate issues, peacefully challenge their governments, exercise the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and speak out against violations of human rights wherever they occur.

(via Parliament.uk)

Bishop of Coventry receives answers to questions on Saudi Arabia

On 6th November 2014, the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, recieved answers to three written question Saudi Arabia from the Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Baroness Anelay of St Johns.

13.10 Bishop of CoventryThe Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of freedom of religion or belief in Saudi Arabia and the extent to which discrimination against and restrictions experienced by Shiite Muslims contribute to sectarian unrest and dissent in that country.[HL2365]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns): The British Government strongly supports the right to freedom of religion or belief, which is severely restricted in Saudi Arabia. We make our views well known through the UN Universal Periodic Review Process, in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Annual Human Rights and Democracy Report, and to the Saudi Arabian authorities. We have made clear the importance of religious tolerance, including for different branches of Islam. There are some long-standing tensions between some Shia communities in the Eastern Province and the Saudi authorities. We continue to monitor developments. We welcome all efforts to increase religious tolerance in Saudi Arabia, including the recent calls by King Abdullah and Saudi religious leaders for greater religious tolerance in the Kingdom. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry receives answers to questions on Saudi Arabia”

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