This conference organized by HRWF will take place in-person at the Press Club, Brussels, at 11:00 – 12:00 (CET), Rue Froissart 95, 1000 Brussels
Thursday September 9th
The conference will also be live-streamed
Topics to be addressed:
- The legal basis of the Blasphemy Laws, and the way in which they are abused.
- Pakistan’s continued contravention of a number of the 27 international conventions that beneficiaries of GSP+ status are required to ratify.
- This will be placed in the context of Pakistan’s continued support for the Taliban – with evidence of this to be presented – and the current tragic events in Afghanistan. A recent article (25th August) published by the Council on Foreign Relations will form the centre of this particular part of the debate.
- Towards EU’s sanctions including suspension of the status?
- What message does the European Commission’s failure to suspend Pakistan’s GSP+ status send out to other developing nations, or to rogue states?
Following the event, letters outlining the conclusions and recommendations of the conference will be hand-delivered to High Representative Josep Borrell at the European Council, and to the office of President David Sassoli at the European Parliament.
Willy Fautre, Director, Human Rights Without Frontiers. Former chargé de mission at the Cabinet of the Belgian Ministry of Education and at the Belgian Parliament. Member of the International Consortium on Law and Religious Studies.
Ján Figel, First EU Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union (2016-2019); he was instrumental in the release of Asia Bibi.
Peter Van Dalen, Member of the European Parliament, Co-chair of the Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief.
Andy Vermaut: Association pour La Défense de la Liberté Religieuse (AIDLR)
Marcela Szymanski and Akmal Bhatti: Aid to the Church in Need: Testimonies
Dr Zsuzsa-Anna Ferenczy, Former political advisor, European Parliament (Foreign Affairs, Human Rights) from 2008 to 2020. She is a Ph.D. Research fellow at the European Union Centre in Taiwan at National Taiwan University, Taipei. Author of “Europe, China, and the Limits of Normative Power” (Edward Elgar Publishing)