jeudi 30 mai 2013

ITF EU Representative attended the Conference 'The State of Freedom of Religion or Belief in the World in 2012' at the EU Parliament

ITF EU Representative Dr. Hassan Aydinli attended the launching of two World Reports :

Freedom of Religion or Belief / World Report 2012
Freedom of Religion or Belief Prisoners List / World Report 2012

at the European Parliament on 23rd April 2013

Photo from left to right :  Alfiaz Vaija, Moderator
Dr. Lazslo Surjan, Vice-President of the European Parliament 
Willy Fautré, Director of Human Rights Without Frontiers International
Dr. Mark Barwick, Policy Adviser at Human Rights Without Frontiers International

Dr. Hassan Aydinli, Iraqi Turkmen Front EU Representative

The conference was hosted by the Vice-President of the European Parliament Dr. Laszlo Surjan
Co-organised with EP Working Group on FORB (Freedom of Religion or Belief) and HUMAN RIGHTS WITHOUT FRONTIERS INT'L
Several MEPs attended the conference

Iraqi Turkmen Front EU Representative Dr Hassan Aydinli spoke with the Vice-President of the European Parliament Dr. Laszlo Surjan, briefing him on the situation of the Turkmens in Iraq. He also spoke with Willy Fautré and Dr. Mark Barwick informing them on the continued targeting of Turkmens in Iraq.

After the presentation of the reports by Willy Fautré and Mark Barwick, Dr. Hassan Aydinli took the floor to say that it was unfair to mention TURKEY among the countries where freedom of expression and belief are restricted just because a Turkish musician (Fazil Say) had been accused of blasphemy over a series of comments he made on Twitter, adding that the musician's sentence had been suspended.

Dr. Aydinli then said that MYANMAR (formerly BURMA) where hundreds of Muslims have been brutally assassinated, just because they are Muslims, should be mentioned in the report, because the authorities in Myanmar were complicit in a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the minority Rohingya Muslim community.

Finally, Dr Aydinli deplored the fact that ISRAEL - who has been stopping and attacking Palestinians who want to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem - is not mentioned in the report, although this has been going on for several years.

A World Report about Freedom of Religion or Belief: the right to change religion, freedom of expression, association, worship and assembly

In a report presented at the European Parliament on 23rd April 2013, the Brussels-based NGO
Human Rights Without Frontiers International listed a number of Muslim and (former) Communist countries of particular concern.

According to a 142-page report of Human Rights Without Frontiers Int'l two main categories of states - Muslim countries and Communist or former Communist countries - have put in place a constitutional and legislative framework restricting the fundamentals of religious freedom or belief: the freedom to believe or not believe and the freedom to change religion, as well as the freedom to express one's religion or one's beliefs whether individually or collectively, in the public sphere or in private.

"If countries punish the legitimate exercise of freedom of religion or belief by death or heavy prison terms or deterrent exorbitant fines of sometimes up to 100 times the minimum monthly salary, such countries must be named publicly, held accountable and urged by the international community, including the EU institutions, to revise their constitution, their laws and their practices," the director of HRWF Int'l, Willy Fautré, said during the presentation of the book at the European Parliament on 23rd April.

This report aims to facilitate NGOs' advocacy and the human rights dialogues between the EU and third countries. It is divided into several parts. The first three parts identify and analyse a number of constitutional and legislative provisions which restrict freedom of religion or belief in some problematic countries, in particular:

(1) freedom to change religion or belief: Afghanistan, Egypt, Jordan, Iran, Malaysia, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen;

(2) freedom of expression within the framework of freedom of religion or belief: Afghanistan, Algeria, Brunei, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Maldives, North Korea, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan;

(3) freedom of association worship and assembly: Azerbaijan, China, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Laos, North Korea, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam.

The fourth part addresses the issue of freedom of religion or belief from another angle. It lists ten countries (Azerbaijan, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Uzbekistan) which made themselves conspicuous in 2012 by a very high number of incidents related to freedom of religion or belief on various grounds: repressive governmental policies, social hostility and inter-ethnic or inter-communal tensions. These countries were selected on the basis of data collected by HRWF Int'l from numerous public and private sources. Many concrete examples support this choice and illustrate the different facets of the identified violations. They are also contextualized and analysed.

The report is completed by a nominative and detailed prisoners list which identifies 18 countries with FORB (Freedom of Religion or Belief) prisoners: Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Nagorno-Karabakh, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

In its final remarks, Willy Fautré said "The policies of death or of forced emigration in an ever increasing number of countries is currently leading to some sort of rampant religious cleansing: countries purified of Christians, of Jews, of Muslims, of Ahmadis, of Baha'is...where questions concerning the treatment of religious minorities and the preservation of religious diversity will no longer be relevant in the future."

And he concluded with a question "The emergence of homogeneous, purified religious blocks challenging each other over their differences threatens to lead the world to the much dreaded clash of civilizations. Is it the world that we want?"


The reports can be ordered at

Freedom of Religion or Belief World Report 2012 (142 p)

Freedom of Religion or Belief Prisoners List/ World Report 2012 (90 p)

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