UN Human Rights Council’s session participants condemn religious hatred in Europe

    WORLD  20 June 2024 - 11:27

    The participants of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session have condemned the promotion of religious hatred by some European countries under the pretext of freedom of expression.

    A joint statement was made at the 56th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva by a group of 15 countries, including Russia, Belarus, Iran, China, North Korea, Cuba, Nigeria and Türkiye, the Russian media reports.

    The statement was read at the session on behalf of 15 countries by Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN office and other international organisations in Geneva Aleksandr Letoshnev.

    “We express our deep concern at acts of intolerance and violence based on religion or belief against individuals, members of religious communities, religious minorities, as well as the constant increase in xenophobia and religious intolerance. We see disregard and violation of international human rights obligations by some European countries, which encourage religious hatred under the pretext of freedom of expression,” the statement says.

    The authors of the statement drew attention to the constant increase in vandalism and desecration of religious buildings, holy places, cemeteries, religious symbols, as well as sacred books and images. The churches and monasteries have been recently destroyed, clergy and believers have been intimidated and their citizenship has been deprived.

    “We call on all countries to take measures at the national, regional and international levels to achieve the goal of peaceful and harmonious coexistence in which people enjoy equal rights and mutual respect,” the statement said.

    The 56th session of the UNHRC is being held in Geneva from June 18 to July 12. The rights and freedoms in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Sudan, Ukraine and the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel are discussed there.

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