Dáil Éireann - Volume 688 - 09 July, 2009
Written Answers. - Human Rights Issues.
Deputy Leo Varadkar Deputy Leo Varadkar
Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he has had formal contact with the representatives of Uzbekistan with regard to the treatment of Christians and converts to Christianity in that country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29594/09]
Deputy Micheál Martin Deputy Micheál Martin
Deputy Micheál Martin: Ireland’s Ambassador to Uzbekistan is based in Moscow and our bilateral relations are limited in scope. The issue of the treatment of Christians in Uzbekistan has not been one that has arisen between the two countries, although Ireland has been one of a number of countries in the EU to express serious concerns about the general human rights situation in Uzbekistan, in particular following the terrible incident at Andijan in May 2005, and to press for the EU to take steps to address the human rights situation there.
As a result of these concerns, the EU now holds regular human rights dialogues with Uzbekistan. These allow a wide range of issues to be discussed, including questions of freedom of religion, individual cases of human rights defenders and other issues relating to the human rights environment in the country. Through this mechanism and in its other contacts with the Uzbek authorities the EU seeks to promote adherence to international standards in this area.
Dáil Éireann 688 Written Answers. Human Rights Issues.