The recommendations of French MP Rudy Salles which would have had the effect of exporting French anti-religious policies to the 47 Member States of the Council of Europe has not been adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
It’s not often that Jehovah’s Witnesses, secularists and humanists find themselves on the same side, and rejoicing for the same reason, but this seems to be one such moment.
Co-founder of the Freedom Rights Project; President of the Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe; former Executive Director of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights
I appreciate this opportunity to speak in the framework of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
As I understand it, the main role of the Parliamentary Assembly is to undertake investigations and make recommendations to the member states of the Council of Europe.
1. Alliance Defending Freedom [ADF] is a legal organization of 2300 allied lawyers, over 40 full time lawyers and has offices internationally including Europe, North America, Latin America and India. ADF enjoys accreditation at the European Parliament, Fundamental Rights Agency (for which it is also represented on the Advisory Panel) and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. ADF has also garnered Consultative Status with the United Nations. ADF has been involved in over forty cases at the European Court of Human Rights and is the leading religious liberties legal organization today practicing before the Court.
A Report “on the protection of minors against excesses of sects” and draft Resolution have been adopted by the Committee of Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on 3rd March 2014. The Report and Resolution will be presented to the entire Parliamentary Assembly on or about 7 April 2014 to vote on for adoption. If this legislation is adopted, it will constitute a major step backwards for religious tolerance and the rights of religious minorities in the 47 countries that comprise the Council of Europe.
On behalf of EMISCO, European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion, its Secretary General Bashy Quraishy has written to the President of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Mrs Anne Brasseur, to alert her on the danger of the report written by Mr Rudy Salles “The protection of minors against excesses of sects”, that will be voted by the Assembly on the 10th of April 2014. According to EMISCO, “this report as well as the draft resolution and recommendation it contains, are violating basic fundamental rights standards that the Council is supposed to uphold and promote”. Here is the content of the letter:
The Federation of Evangelical Religious Entities of Spain through this letter expresses its concern about the upcoming vote that will take place at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) regarding the Report adopted by the Committee of Legal Affairs and Human Rights based on a motion presented by the Rapporteur Mr. Rudy Salles entitled: “The Protection of Minors Against Excesses of Sects”.