Friday, April 11, 2008

UN Human Rights Council: Still a Disgrace

In 2006, the OIC did not for once present a resolution to the Council condemning defamation of religion but said that they were considering a new approach. Their “new approach” was unveiled last week with the publication of their draft resolution [A/HRC/4/L.12] “Combating Defamation of Religions”. The wording was virtually unchanged from the resolutions adopted by the old Commission. None of this would matter if the resolution was actually aimed at helping prevent discrimination or violence against people on the basis of their religion or belief. But sadly this is not the case. First, the resolution fails to define “defamation”. It is a catch-all term intended to silence any criticism of religious practice or of laws based on religion - however pernicious. Secondly, it attempts to limit certain rights, including the right to freedom of expression, guaranteed under international human rights law[1]. Thirdly, it fails to distinguish between religions and their followers. To criticize any aspect of Islam, for example, is seen as an attack on Muslims.

From the International Humanist and Ethical Union.
If you recall, the council (once headed by Libya), had become such a disgrace that it had to be reformed. The new council has the same problems as the old, namely that it is full of human-rights violators who condemn no state but Israel.
Not content to simply not do their job, these states are actively attacking free speech around the world with this resolution. Human Rights Council supports human rights in name only. It's name is analogous to that of the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea- a wild misnomer. There must be real reform on the council, or we will have to do away with it.
(posted by Ewan)

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