Fwd: IHF New Report on Religious Freedom

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Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2001 20:03:58 +0300 (EEST)
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Subject: Fwd: IHF New Report on Religious Freedom

From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

Original sender: Panayote Elias Dimitras

Fwd: IHF New Report on Religious Freedom

New Report on Religious Intolerance in the OSCE Region Documents
Increasing Legal Restrictions on Minority Religions
Vienna, 19 June 2001.  The International Helsinki Federation for Human
Rights (IHF) is today publishing a 35-page report on religious
intolerance in selected participating States of the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).  The report has been
prepared for the OSCE Seminar on Freedom of Religion or Belief in the
OSCE Region, which will take place in The Hague on 26 June 2001, and
is based on IHF investigations covering mainly the year 2000.
"The trend in the field of religious freedom is toward adopting
legislation that increasingly restricts the activities of minority
religions to the advantage of the so-called traditional religions,"
according to Aaron Rhodes, IHF executive director. "Some Western
European countries do not provide good models for new democracies as
they develop discriminatory legislation or practices governing
religious associations. Anti-'sect' hysteria has been a source of
violations of the Helsinki commitments."
The IHF report documents the persecution of Islamic believers in
Central Asia and in particular in Uzbekistan, where hundreds and
perhaps thousands are imprisoned unjustly.
Another group suffering frequent persecution in numerous OSCE states
is the Jehovah's Witnesses.
Most OSCE countries have failed to adopt adequate legislation on the
right to conscientious objection on religious grounds. In most cases
the victims have been  Jehovah's Witnesses who refuse to carry out
military service on grounds of their belief.
Copies of the report are available from the IHF Secretariat; the
report is available on-line on the IHF website, at
For more information:
Dr. Aaron Rhodes, Executive Director of the International Helsinki
Federation, +43-1-408-8822; +43-676-635-6612
International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF)
Wickenburggasse 14/7, 1080 Vienna, Austria
Tel. +43-1-4088822-11 Fax +43-1-4088822-50
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