THE UK GOVERNMENT has not raised the issue of the persecution of Christians when discussing human rights with Algeria.

MP Tobias Ellwood, Under Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), gave the revelation during a House of Commons session on October 28.

He said: “We regularly discuss human rights with the Algerian Government, although we have not raised religious freedoms specifically.”

Naomi Long, Belfast East MP, initiated the debate and she was ‘disappointed’ with the Government’s response. She asked if the FCO had advised the immigration service how to give good advice for people from North Africa claiming asylum on the grounds of religious persecution.

Mr Ellwood said he would raise this matter, ‘with my Algerian counterparts’.

Chris Eyte

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