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CSW condemns UN defamation resolution

ICC Note

The U.N. passed a resolution aimed at protecting religions from defamation. But the resolution could be used to persecute Christian minorities that live in Muslim countries.

12/21/2008 Islam (Christian Today)-CSW joins international human rights defenders and organisations in condemning a resolution issued by the United Nations General Assembly, which represents a threat to freedom of expression and freedom of religion.

The resolution, entitled “Combating Defamation of Religions”, calls on national governments to legislate for the protection of religion from defamation, and has been adopted by the General Assembly for a fourth consecutive year. It has traditionally been sponsored by the 57 states that make up the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC).

“Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan , Christians in Orissa , India , and Bahais in Iran have one more reason to fear for their lives as the UN lends legitimacy to the criminalisation of their peaceful speech,” she said. “States have no place determining what is and is not blasphemy.”

CSW’s Advocacy Director, Tina Lambert, said: “We believe that measures ‘combating defamation of religions’ are fundamentally inconsistent with UN human rights principles.

“Existing international law protects individuals from violations of freedom of religion and belief but this resolution seeks to protect religions rather than people.

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