We wish to draw the Council’s attention to the fact that the French Government, despite many warnings, continues to fund more than 92% of a non-governmental organization, the FECRIS (European Federation of Centers of Research and Information on Sectarianism) whose activities are severely detrimental to the freedom of religion and belief of European citizens.
This funding by the French Prime Minister office is a breach of the neutrality of the state because it supports an association whose speech incites to hatred and discrimination against members of certain religious communities. This is a clear violation of the principle of secularity.
It is in Russia that the hate speeches of the FECRIS spread by its vice-president
have had the most dramatic consequences since citizens are imprisoned or forced into exile for their religious beliefs.
Despite many warnings, as in recent sessions of the UPR (Universal Periodic Review) and the HRC (Human Rights Council), at the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and at the national level, France has maintained its position and officially declared at the last session on freedom of religion in the OSCE
in September 2017 that it would continue to finance FECRIS.
At the 30th session of the UPR last May, 22 countries recommended to the Russian Federation to review its freedom policy and legislation religious. But France has not pronounced on this point.
France, historically recognized as the country of human rights has a
exemplary duty and we call for the cessation of funding for this
association which has been working since 1994 in total contradiction with the principle of
French secularism and Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights