UPHOLDING UNIVERSAL COMMITMENTS:
Addressing the damaging impact of landmines on the enjoyment of human rights
Side event within the 44 session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review
Room XXII, E building, Palais des Nations, Geneva 13 November 2023 / 14.30-16.00
California, the Golden State, is known for its stunning landscapes, thriving entertainment industry, and diverse culture. Beneath the surface of this multifaceted state lies another remarkable aspect of its diversity: religious pluralism. From the Spanish missions of the 18th century to the bustling metropolises of the 21st century, California’s religious landscape has evolved into a vibrant tapestry of faiths and beliefs.
Thousands of Ahmadi Muslims in Germany who have fled severe religious persecution in Pakistan are awaiting a decision on their asylum applications. They belong to a religiously and politically persecuted minority – the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. It is recognized around the world by human rights groups that Ahmadi Muslims are constantly, ruthlessly persecuted.
In a side-event of the 54th session of the Human Rights Council in Germany, director of CAP Freedom of Conscience, Thierry Valle, has delivered an oral statement emphasizing the urgent need to grant asylum/humanitarian visas to the 101 members through EU consulates in Turkey as the only way available means to safeguard their right to freedom of religion and their right to life and freedom from inhumane or degrading treatment.
Since May of this year, over 100 Ahmadis from various countries where they were heavily persecuted, have been detained by the Turkish authorities in Edirne Immigration Detention Center. They want to apply for asylum in an EU country.
Those people from the Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light do not want to stay in Turkey, another Muslim majority country, where people also consider them infidels and treat them as such.
Anti-religious intolerance and hate crimes continues to be a concern across the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) region. Such manifestations of intolerance threaten both the security of individuals and societal cohesion, as discrimination and intolerant discourse often escalate into violence and wider scale conflict. At the same time, a comprehensive security regime is also needed to fully respect, protect and fulfil freedom of religion or belief, which is specifically acknowledged as one of the fundamental principles guiding mutual relations among OSCE participating States and an integral aspect of the OSCE’s concept of security. Furthermore, participating States of the OSCE have agreed on a broad range of commitments to address racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, discrimination and intolerance, including intolerance against Christians, Muslims, Jews and members of other religions. This side event will present the current situation in the OSCE area with regards to anti-religious hate crime, including reporting and addressing it. It will also highlight ODIHR’s recent and forthcoming tools, such as community security guides and factsheets. The discussion will also address gender-related aspects of anti-religious hate crime. The side event will be organized by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) with the support of the FoRB Roundtable Brussels-EU
Violence in Yemen in 2023 has seen an uptick , including an increase in targeted attacks and violent speech towards religious minorities. On 25th May 2023, Houthi militia stormed a peaceful meeting of Bahais in Sana’a and arrested 17, including ﬁve women, and continue to detain 11 of them incommunicado. In 2 June 2023, the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights reported how the Mufti Shamseddin Sharafeddin, appointed by leaders of the Houthi militant movement, accused the detained Bahais of being apostates and saying “they should be killed,” if they did not repent Similar hate speech and incitement has been recorded in Yemen towards Christian converts and others since the start of the conﬂict and was raised during the virtual 53rd Human Rights Council parallel event co-sponsored by the Slovak Republic Bureau of the Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief.
Whether or not transitional justice is implemented is the basic condition for examining the establishment of a human rights nation. As Christine Mire, vice president of the French CAP-LC (Coordination for Freedom of Conscience of Individuals and Organizations), emphasized, Taiwan is one of the few countries that can turn the relics of past government abuses into museums, and despite Taiwan’s commitment to democracy, the failure to solve the Taijimen case has tarnished Taiwan’s reputation as a democracy. The government should face up to the fact that Taiwan’s international reputation should be preserved.