Freedom of religion or belief dramatically violated in a number of countries
HRWF (30.06.2017) – Violations of Freedom of Religion or Belief in the Horn of Africa and Egypt are widespread, and vary in their nature depending on the country’s government, levels of democracy, security, and social environments, as a conference at the European Parliament has recently highlighted. Freedom of Religion or Belief greatly intersects with other rights and policy issues in that part of Africa and the EU must understand the root causes of tensions and violence, and be vigilant in examining law vs. implementation and practice to properly develop its external policies in this region.
On 28 June 2017, MEP Tomas Zdechovsky, in collaboration with HRWF, hosted an event in the European Parliament in Brussels to address Freedom of Religion or Belief in the Horn of Africa and Egypt and these subsequent factors. With over fifty participants present, the panel consisted of:
- Mark Barwick, African Diaspora for Freedom of Religion
- Willy Fautre, Human Rights Without Frontiers
- Petr Jasek, Czech Christian humanitarian aid worker / VOM USA
- Susan Kerr, Christian Solidarity Worldwide
- Eva Saenz-Diez, Academic Council of European Neighbourhood Council / GERMAC
- Major Serge Stroobants, Institute for Economics & Peace
Religious freedom in Russia: A conference at the European Parliament stresses that Russia is a country of particular concern
HRWF (07.06.2017) – “Religious diversity is shrinking in Russia because of Putin’s policy of eradication of ‘foreign’ religious minorities,” concluded Human Rights Without Frontiers Int’l (HRWF) at the end of a conference about religious freedom in Russia held yesterday at the European Parliament and hosted by Finnish ALDE MEP Hannu Takkula.
“Spiritual security” philosophy as part of the national security policy
Russian NGOs and Russia-based NGOs that receive funding from the EU, the United States, and American or European foundations are infamously being labelled ‘foreign agents’ by Moscow. It is much lesser known that non-Orthodox religious minorities of ‘foreign’ origin are also having their international headquarters outside of Russia labelled as ‘foreign agents’.
This ‘foreign agent’ stigmatization revives the old Soviet accusation of espionage that still finds some echo in the minds of the older Russian generation. The manipulation of this socio-psychological reflex is part of the “spiritual security” ideology that underpins the various forms of increasing persecutions of non-Orthodox religious groups across the country.
North Koreans Breaking Their Isolation: The Power of Information
The invited speakers were:
- Jieun Baek, Doctoral Candidate in Public Policy at the University of Oxford
- Mr. Do, Hee Yeun (都希侖), Representative of Toward a Happy Unification
- Dr. Remco Breuker, Professor of Korean Studies at Leiden University
The speakers shared their experience and analyses about how North Koreans get access to information from the outside world and how they discover the outside world as overseas workers exploited by their own regime.
HRWF (05.04.2017) – On 29 March, a conference dealing with literature and human rights in North Korea was held in Seoul. Ms Zsuzsa Anna Ferenczy, political adviser at the European Parliament, presented a paper entitled “The European Union’s engagement policy towards North Korea”. The full text is available here: http://hrwf.eu/human-rights/our-reports/.
The European Union must have the courage to reform the European Arrest Warrant, say several experts at the European Parliament
HRWF (08.02.2017) – “The European Commission should urgently consider a reform of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) as for years its implementation has been tarnished by numerous flaws,” a number of experts said during an event at the European Parliament hosted yesterday by MEP Hannu Takkula (Watch the Openingspeech here) with the collaboration of Human Rights Without Frontiers.
The invited speakers were:
- Jago Russell from Fair Trials, London
- Barrister Eeva Heikkila, London
- Oliver Pahnecke, a human rights lawyer working closely with the OSCE in Warsaw
Throughout the session, the speakers highlighted the precarious and important future of the EAW as the EU transforms in the coming years. Across the board, the experts paid particular attention towards the pivotal role of human rights in regards to the success of this international tool of justice.
Other Past Events:
On 29 June 2016, HRWF presented its’ World Annual Report on Freedom of Religion or Belief in the House of Lords, hosted by Lord Alton of Liverpool
On 10 May 2016, HRWF presented its’ World Annual Report on Freedom of Religion or Belief at the European Parliament in Strasbourg
In June 2015, HRWF hosted an event “In Prison for their Religion or Beliefs” in the United Kingdom House of Lords with the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief. At the event HRWF presented its 2014 annual reports on freedom of religion or belief. Interventions were made by Baroness Berridge, Lord Alton, Dr Nazila Ghanea and HRWF staff members.
In May 2015, HRWF hosted an event “In Prison for their Religion or Beliefs” in the European Parliament. At the event HRWF presented its 2014 annual reports on freedom of religion or belief. Interventions were made by Mr Tokes MEP, HRWF staff members and a representative of the European External Action Service (EEAS).
In November 2014, HRWF hosted an event in the European Parliament on “Ethnic Minorities in Azerbaijan”. At the event HRWF presented a report based on a fact-finding mission in Azerbaijan. Interventions by representatives of various ethnic groups in Azerbaijan were made at the event.
In October 2014, HRWF hosted a side event at the OSCE ODIHR on “Ethnic Minorities in Azerbaijan”. At the event HRWF presented a report based on a fact-finding mission in Azerbaijan. Interventions by representatives of various ethnic groups in Azerbaijan were made at the event.
In April 2014, HRWF organised a side workshop “LGBT people, the Religions and Human Rights in Europe” at the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) annual meeting in Vienna.
In March 2014, HRWF co-organised a side-event titled “The Rise of Religious Intolerance” at the United Nations in Geneva with a presentation on “Religious Intolerance & Ethno-Religious Conflicts in Africa” by Dr. Mark Barwick.
In March 2014, HRWF and Laszlo Tökes MEP hosted an event in the European Parliament titled “Religious Minorities in Iran under Rouhani’s Presidency”. The event focused on the situation of Christians and Bahai’s in Iran and HRWF presented its annual “Freedom of Religion or Belief World report” and “Freedom of Religion or Belief Prisoner’s list and Blasphemy report”.
In November 2013, HRWF hosted an event in the European Parliament on “Religious Minorities in Azerbaijan”. At the event HRWF presented a report based on a fact-finding mission in Azerbaijan. Interventions by representatives of various religious groups in Azerbaijan were made at the event.
In November 2013, HRWF co-organised an event with the European Parliament LGBT Intergroup on “Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Religion: A new dialogue”. At the event HRWF presented a report “LGBT people, the Religions and Human Rights in Europe”.
In May 2013, HRWF organised an event on “Human Rights in Mali” which focused on the situation in Northern Mali after the internal conflict in the country in late 2012, early 2013.
In May 2013, HRWF co-organised an event on “Human Rights in North Korea”. The keynote speech was given by Shin Dong-Hyuk, who managed to escape the notorious Camp 14.
In April 2013, HRWF and Vice President of the European Parliament Laszlo Surjan hosted an event in the European Parliament titled “State of Freedom of Religion or Belief in the world”. HRWF presented its annual “Freedom of Religion or Belief World report” and “Freedom of Religion or Belief Prisoner’s list report”.
For more information on HRWF events, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.