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Civil and Political Rights, Including Religous Intolerance

E/CN.4/2004/63

          
          UNIItL )
          NATIONS
          Economic and Social Distr.
          Council
          GENERAL
          E/CN.4/2004/63
          16 January 2004
          ENGLISH
          Original: FRENCH
          COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
          Sixtieth session
          Item 11(e) of the provisional agenda
          CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS, INCLUDING RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE
          Report submitted by Mr. Abdelfattah Amor, Special Rapporteur
          on freedom of religion or belief
          C
          GE.04-10343 (E) 230304 250304
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/63
          page 2
          Summary
          The Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief hereby submits to the
          Commission on Human Rights, in accordance with its resolution 2003/54 of 24 April 2003,
          a set of four documents: this report, two addenda - on his visit to Georgia, from 31 August
          to 7 September 2003 (E/CN.4/2004/63/Add. 1), and his visit to Romania, from 7
          to 13 September 2003 (E/CN.4/2004/63/Add.2) - and, for information purposes, the
          interim report submitted to the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session (A158/296).
          This report describes the activities carried out since the issuance of the Special
          Rapporteur's last report to the Commission and includes an assessment of his activities since
          taking up his mandate in 1993.
          In the first chapter, on management activities, the Special Rapporteur reports on his
          in situ visits and follow-up to them and draws the Commission's attention to those States
          that have not yet acted on his requests for a visit. He then reports on the communications sent to
          States since the issuance of his last report to the Commission and provides an overall analysis of
          the communications sent to States since he took up his mandate.
          Chapter II reports on the Special Rapporteur's activities with regard to the prevention of
          intolerance and discrimination.
          Finally, chapter III reports on his cooperation with the Commission, United Nations
          human rights mechanisms, specialized agencies of the United Nations system and
          non-governmental organizations.
        
          
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          page 3
          CONTENTS
          Paragraphs Page
          Introduction 1 - 2 4
          REPORT ON MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES 3 - 122 4
          A. In situ visits and follow-up 3 - 13 4
          B. Communications and replies from States 14 - 122 7
          II. REPORT ON PREVENTIVE ACTION 123 - 134 25
          A. Education 124-131 25
          B. Inter-religious dialogue 132 - 134 27
          III. REPORT ON COOPERATION WITH THE COMMISSION
          ON HUMAN RIGHTS, UNITED NATIONS HUMAN
          RIGHTS MECHANISMS, SPECIALIZED AGENCIES
          OF THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM AND
          NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS 135 - 145 27
          A. Follow-up to Commission on Human Rights
          initiatives 135 - 141 27
          B. Cooperation with United Nations human rights
          mechanisms and the specialized agencies 142 - 144 28
          C. Cooperation with non-governmental organizations 145 29
          IV. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 146 - 158 29
        
          
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          page 4
          Introduction
          1. Since 1987, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief of the Commission
          on Human Rights has been examining incidents and government measures in all parts of the
          world that are incompatible with the provisions of the Declaration on the Elimination of All
          Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief and has recommended
          remedial measures for such situations. Since then, the Special Rapporteur has submitted to the
          Commission 16 general reports and 17 reports on in situ visits; he has also submitted nine
          interim reports to the General Assembly since 1994.
          2. As his mandate draws to a close after 11 years, the Special Rapporteur has decided
          to take stock of his activities since 1993, including his management and prevention activities
          in the area of freedom of religion or belief and his cooperation with the Commission,
          United Nations human rights mechanisms, the specialized agencies of the United Nations
          system and non-governmental organizations (NGO5).
          I. REPORT ON MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES
          A. In situ visits and follow-up
          1. In situ visits
          3. In situ visits have been an important part of the Special Rapporteur's work. In
          accordance with the resolutions of the Commission and the General Assembly, the purpose of
          these visits is to enable him to:
          (a) Consider, on the spot, incidents and government measures that are incompatible
          with freedom of religion or belief, as well as positive experiences and initiatives in this area;
          (b) Formulate recommendations aimed not only at the State visited but also at the
          international community.
          4. Since taking up his mandate, the Special Rapporteur has paid 16 visits, or 2 visits a
          year on average, to States in all regions of the world (see table 1). In September 2003, the
          Special Rapporteur went to Georgia and Romania; the reports on these visits are contained in
          the two addenda to this report.
          5. In parallel with the visits undertaken, requests for permission to visit were sent to six
          States (see table 2) but these remain unanswered, despite reminders in follow-up letters, in
          general reports to the Commission and the General Assembly and in the resolutions of these
          bodies, including Commission on Human Rights resolution 2003/54, in which the Commission
          “urges all Governments ... to respond favourably to his [ the Special Rapporteur'sI request to
          visit their countries so as to enable him to fulfil his mandate even more effectively”. The
          Special Rapporteur regrets that the Governments approached have not cooperated with him in
          the fulfilment of his mandate with a view to improving the protection and promotion of human
          rights in general and freedom of religion or belief in particular.
        
          
          Table 1
          In situ visits
          E/CN. 4/2004/63
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          State visited
          Date of visit
          Document symbol
          China
          November 1994
          E/CN.4/1 995/91
          Pakistan
          June 1995
          E/CN.4/1996/95/Add.1
          Iran (Islamic
          Republic of)
          December 1995
          E/CN.4/1996/95/Add.2
          Greece
          June 1996
          AI51/542/Add.1
          Sudan
          September 1996
          AI51/542/Add.2
          India
          December 1996
          E/CN.4/1997/91/Add.1
          Australia
          February-March 1997
          E/CN.4/1 998/6/Add. 1
          Germany
          September 1997
          E/CN.4/1 998/6/Add.2
          United States
          of America
          January-February 1998
          E/CN.4/1 999/58/Add. 1
          Viet Nam
          October 1998
          E/CN.4/1999/58/Add.2
          Turkey
          December 1999
          AI5 5/280/Add. 1
          Bangladesh
          May 2000
          AI5 5/280/Add. 2
          Argentina
          May 2001
          E/CN.4/2002/73/Add. 1
          Algeria
          September 2002
          E/CN.4/2003/66/Add. 1
          Georgia
          August-September 2003
          E/CN.4/2004/63/Add. 1
          Romania
          September 2003
          E/CN.4/2004/63/Add.2
          6. He wishes to point out that these requests in no way suggest preconceived views or any
          negative judgement regarding the Governments concerned. Rather, the aim is to use such visits
          to establish or to pursue a dialogue with the authorities and with all the parties concerned,
          particularly with NGOs and all individuals having a particular interest in the mandate.
          Moreover, regardless of whether the visit is made at the request of the General Assembly or the
          Commission, like the one to the Sudan, at the initiative of the country concerned, like those to
          China and Algeria, or at his own initiative, the Special Rapporteur has always tried to maintain a
          balance both in the regions visited and in the religions involved. He therefore visited, for
          example, Turkey as well as Greece, and Pakistan as well as India.
          7. In accordance with resolution 5-5/1 of 19 October 2000, entitled “Grave and massive
          violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel”, the Commission, in a special
          session, decided inter alia to request the Special Rapporteur on religious intolerance to carry out
          an immediate mission to the occupied Palestinian territories and to report on his findings. In
          response to a letter dated 18 December 2000 from the Special Rapporteur to the Permanent
          Mission of Israel to the United Nations informing it of his intention to visit the occupied
          territories and seeking the cooperation of the Israeli authorities for access to the territory, the
          latter informed him, by letter of 2 January 2001, that Israel would “not cooperate in the
          implementation of (...) this resolution”.
        
          
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          Table 2
          Unanswered requests for permission to visit
          State
          Date of initial request
          Reaction
          Indonesia
          1996
          No reply
          Mauritius
          1996
          No reply
          Israel
          1997
          No reply
          Russian Federation
          1998
          No reply
          Democratic People's
          1999
          No reply
          Republic of Korea
          Nigeria
          2000
          Acknowledged
          Turkmenistan
          2003
          No reply
          8. The Special Rapporteur was therefore unable to go to the occupied territories, despite the
          gravity of the situation and the corroborating and disquieting information received in the context
          of his mandate.
          9. Pursuant to resolution 2001/7 of 18 April 2001, in which the Commission expressed deep
          concern at this failure to cooperate, the Special Rapporteur reiterated his request for permission
          to visit on 22 June 2001 and on 29 July 2002, but these requests were fruitless.
          10. Aside from the so-called “traditional” in situ visits, the Special Rapporteur decided
          in 1999 to begin visits to the major communities of religion or belief The purpose of such visits
          was to establish a dialogue on the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance
          and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief and on all issues relating to freedom of
          religion or belief, and also to consider solutions to the problems of intolerance and
          discrimination in that area. Accordingly, the Special Rapporteur visited the Holy See in
          September 1999 (E/CN.4/2000/65).
          11. In a letter dated 13 January 2003 and received by fax on 10 November 2003, the
          Government of China invited the Special Rapporteur to visit that country again. In addition,
          on 11 November 2003, at the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly, the representative of
          the Islamic Republic of Iran also invited the Special Rapporteur to pay another visit to his
          country.
          2. Follow-up to in situ visits
          12. Since 1996, the Special Rapporteur has established a follow-up procedure whereby
          States which have received an in situ visit are asked to provide comments and any information
          on measures the relevant authorities have taken or are considering taking to implement the
          recommendations formulated in the mission reports (see table 3).
        
          
          Table 3
          Follow-up procedure
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          State visited
          Date of submission of follow-up
          procedure to State visited
          Reaction of State (report)
          (report)
          China
          1996 (AI51/542)
          Reply 1996 (A/S 1/542)
          Pakistan
          1996 (AI51/542)
          Reply 1997
          (AI5 2/477/Add. 1)
          Iran (Islamic
          Republic of)
          1996 (A/S 1/542)
          No reply despite reminders
          Greece
          1997 (A152/477/Add. 1)
          Reply 1997
          (E/CN.4/1998/6)
          Sudan
          1997 (A152/477/Add. 1)
          Reply 1997
          (AI5 2/477/Add. 1)
          India
          1997 (A152/477/Add. 1)
          Reply 1998 (A153/279)
          Australia
          1998 (E/CN.4/1999/58)
          No reply despite one
          reminder
          Germany
          1998 (E/CN.4/1999/58)
          No reply despite one
          reminder
          United States
          of America
          2000 (E/CN.4/1999/58)
          No reply
          Viet Nam
          2000 (E/CN.4/1999/58)
          No reply
          13. The Special Rapporteur calls on all the States concerned to cooperate fully with
          the follow-up procedure and draws their attention to Commission resolution 2000/86
          of 27 April 2000, on human rights and thematic procedures, in which the Commission invites
          the Governments concerned to study carefully the recommendations addressed to them under
          thematic procedures and to keep the relevant mechanisms informed without undue delay on the
          progress made.
          B. Communications and replies from States
          1. Report on communications sent since the issuance
          of the last report to the Conunission
          14. Since the last report (E/CN.4/2003/66) was issued, 69 communications have been sent
          to 42 States (see table 4).
          15. The Special Rapporteur has received replies from 15 States. In this respect, in
          accordance with his methods of work and the rules governing his mandate, he wishes to clarify
          that the communications sent within the past two months are not covered in this report.
          Moreover, he would like to thank the Governments of Azerbaijan, Egypt and Uzbekistan for
          their replies, which cannot be reflected in this report for reasons to do with their translation.
        
          
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          16. In order to avoid repeating information contained in previously issued documents, this
          report simply refers the reader to the interim report submitted to the General Assembly at its
          fifty-eighth session (A158/296).
          17. The Special Rapporteur wishes to point out that the communications mentioned below
          do not account for all incidents or government measures in all parts of the world that are
          incompatible with the provisions of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of
          Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief
          Afghanistan
          18. See paragraphs 6 and 7 of the interim report to the General Assembly.
          Saudi Arabia
          19. See paragraph 8 of the interim report.
          20. In a letter dated 8 August 2003, the Government informed the Special Rapporteur that the
          Yemeni citizen in question had not been sentenced to death, but to two years' imprisonment “on
          the basis of the charges brought against him”.
          Armenia
          21. The first communication is dealt with in paragraphs 9 to 15 of the interim report.
          22. The second concerns reports that 10 Jehovah's Witnesses were given prison
          sentences under article 327, paragraph 1, of the new Criminal Code, which entered into
          force on 1 August 2003, for failure to do their military service.
          Azerbaijan
          23. The first communication is dealt with in paragraphs 16 and 17 of the interim report.
          24. The second concerns reports that the leader of the Catholic community in Azerbaijan was
          warned by the authorities responsible for religious affairs that he was producing “illegal religious
          propaganda”, an offence punishable with expulsion.
          Bangladesh
          25. See paragraphs 18 to 22 of the interim report.
          Belarus
          26. The first two communications are dealt with in paragraphs 23 to 25 of the interim report.
          27. In a letter dated 4 August 2003, the Government replied that the restrictions on the
          exercise of the freedom of religion or belief that are set out in the Constitution, which prohibits
          “any activity by religious organizations ... that is directed against the sovereignty of the
        
          
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          Republic of Belarus, its constitutional system or civic harmony, or that is likely to violate the law
          or the civil liberties of citizens, and that prevents citizens from discharging their public, social or
          family duties or is detrimental to their health or morality”, are compatible with article 18 of the
          International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
          28. With regard to the Belarusian Autocephalic Orthodox Church, the Government points out
          that its representative has been defrocked and excommunicated by the Belarusian Orthodox
          Church and that his application to have his church registered was rejected because the documents
          submitted did not meet the legal requirements.
          29. The decision to reject the registration of the parish of Saint-Jean de Kronstadt, which
          claims to be part of the Crimean diocese of the Real Russian Orthodox Church - a decision that
          was confirmed by the courts - was taken on the basis of an expert denominational study and the
          conclusions of the Committee on Religious and Ethnic Affairs, in accordance with the legislation
          on freedom of conscience and religious organizations.
          30. With regard to the Hindu “Light of Kaylasa” community, the Government replied, by
          letter of 26 September 2003, that the community had not submitted the documents required for
          registration, that the events of 1 June 2003 stemmed from a neighbourhood disturbance and that
          no member of the community had been prosecuted.
          31. The Special Rapporteur would like to thank the Government of Belarus for its detailed
          replies, while pointing out that freedom of religion or belief is itself boundless even though
          certain restrictions may be applied to displays of that freedom.
          32. The third communication concerns reports that religious communities experience many
          difficulties in building places of worship or recovering those seized during the Soviet period. It
          is reported that building permission for a social centre in which services could have been held
          was withdrawn at the last minute from the leader of the Full Gospel Church in Minsk, whose
          community is desperately short of places of worship. Lutherans and Calvinists are also said to
          have great difficulty in obtaining the return of churches handed over to the Orthodox Church.
          Bulgaria
          33. See paragraphs 26 to 28 of the interim report.
          China
          34. The first two communications are dealt with in paragraphs 29 to 35 of the interim report.
          35. In a letter dated 14 October 2003, the Government sent a detailed reply, the full text of
          which is being circulated as a separate document of the Commission at its sixtieth session. In its
          reply, the Government stresses that Falun Gong is not a religion but an increasingly violent
          “antisocial, anti-science, anti-human sect” and that its prohibition by the authorities is
          completely legal. Moreover, the allegations of torture and other ill-treatment are unfounded.
        
          
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          36. Regarding Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and Lobsang Thondup, the Government points out
          that they were convicted of acts of sedition and enjoyed all the guarantees of a fair trial.
          37. In the same letter, the Government enclosed a detailed reply from the Government of the
          Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), which pointed out that the 16 members of
          Falun Gong had not been prosecuted for their religious beliefs but for disturbing the peace and
          that they had had a fair trial. The Government of the Hong Kong SAR provided a copy of the
          “anti-subversion” bill, giving a definition of the terms mentioned by the Special Rapporteur and
          stressing that it was specified in the bill that fundamental rights were to be respected in the
          implementation of its provisions.
          38. The third communication concerns reports that 12 members of an unauthorized church
          were arrested on 6 June 2003 in the town of Guna, Yunnan, even though they had applied for
          official permission to hold religious services.
          39. The fourth communication concerns the tens of thousands of Ismaeli Muslims in
          the autonomous Tajik district in the Sinkiang-Uighur region, who are cut off from their
          fellow believers in Tajikistan and the rest of the world. According to the imam of the
          Ismaeli mosque in Tashkurgan, children under the age of 18 are unable to go to the mosque
          and the fourth Aga Khan is prevented from providing assistance to the Ismaeli Muslims in
          the region.
          Egypt
          40. The first communication is dealt with in paragraphs 36 to 38 of the interim report.
          41. In a letter dated 21 July 2003, on the obstacles encountered by members of the Baha'i
          community trying to obtain identity papers, the Government replied that the law did not permit
          an identity card (or family or social security card) to be issued to a person who was not a
          follower of one of the three religions recognized by the Constitution. This is a public policy rule
          that cannot be circumvented on grounds of freedom of religion or belief as guaranteed by the
          Constitution.
          42. The Special Rapporteur would like to thank the Egyptian Government for its reply. He
          wishes to point out that the mention of religion on an identity card is a controversial issue and
          appears to be somewhat at variance with the freedom of religion or belief that is internationally
          recognized and protected. Moreover, even supposing that it was acceptable to mention religion
          on an identity card, it could only be claimed that the practice had any legitimacy whatsoever if it
          was non-discriminatory: to exclude any mention of religions other than Islam, Christianity or
          Judaism would appear to be a violation of international law.
          43. The second communication concerns reports that security forces attacked the
          Saint-Antoine Coptic monastery in the Red Sea Desert on 19 August 2003 and that, among
          other things, they blocked access to the monastery and tried to destroy the fence around it.
        
          
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          United Arab Emirates
          44. See paragraph 39 of the interim report.
          45. In a letter dated 25 August 2003, the Government confirmed that the Reverend
          Fernando Alconga had been sentenced to one year in prison and expulsion from the country
          for “attacking Islam and proselytizing for another religion”. The sentence was suspended for
          three years.
          Eritrea
          46. Three Jehovah's Witnesses who refused to do their military service have reportedly been
          held incommunicado without being charged since 1994. A number of Jehovah's Witnesses are
          allegedly in prison at present for the same reason, despite their willingness to do alternative
          community service.
          United States of America
          47. See paragraphs 40 to 48 of the interim report.
          The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
          48. A Serbian Orthodox bishop was reportedly arrested on 20 July 2003 for attempting to
          perform a baptism in a Macedonian Orthodox church and sentenced to five days in solitary
          confinement. Other incidents involving representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church have
          also been reported since the collapse of talks between the Serbian Orthodox Church and the
          Macedonian Orthodox Church in June 2002.
          Russian Federation
          49. The first communication is dealt with in paragraphs 49 and 50 of the interim report.
          50. In a letter dated 19 June 2003, the Government replied that the decisions taken in 2002
          with the aim of preventing certain foreigners from entering the country were in no way linked to
          their religious activities but were a consequence of violations of the legislation on the status of
          foreigners.
          51. The second communication concerns reports that the Moscow police stopped an open-air
          Baptist service on 26 July 2003. One member of the congregation claims that incidents like this
          are a normal part of everyday life for church members. Baptists, who refuse to register, have no
          legal status and are not allowed to rent buildings in which to hold their acts of worship. It is
          reported that many of their services were stopped during the summer, books were confiscated
          and some church members were arrested.
          Fiji
          52. The church of the majority in the country is reportedly in favour of regulating the
          registration of religious groups because of the growing number of “religious sects”. In this
          context, the authorities are apparently determined to make it as difficult as possible for religious
        
          
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          groups to become established in the country. The Minister of Justice is reported to have said that
          the current legislation needs to be reviewed “for the reason that there are far too many religious
          bodies and religions in the country”.
          Greece
          53. The first communication is dealt with in paragraphs 51 and 52 of the interim report.
          54. In a letter dated 6 August 2003, the Greek Government replied that the descriptions of
          religious minorities referred to in this communication were taken from sources cited in the
          religious textbooks and were intended to stimulate critical debate. However, the body of the text
          in those books stressed the need for tolerance towards people from other religions.
          55. The second communication concerns reports that Mr. Lazaros Petromedelis has
          been stripped of his status as a recognized conscientious objector, which he has held since
          November 1998, for refusing to do 30 months of community service because of the punitive
          nature of this service. On 12 June 2003, a military court of appeal in Athens reportedly gave
          him a suspended 20-month prison sentence for insubordination in peacetime. If called up for
          military service again, he will have to serve his prison sentence. There are 26 other individuals
          in similar situations.
          India
          56. The first communication is dealt with in paragraphs 53 to 57 of the interim report.
          57. In a letter dated 8 August 2003, the Government confirmed that the Raghunath temple in
          Jammu had been attacked on 30 March and 24 November 2002 and explained that the attacks
          had been carried out by Islamic fundamentalist groups based in Pakistan. The Government,
          which remains “fully committed to protect [ ing the rights of the people to worship and [ tol
          uphold [ ing the freedom of religion”, has taken all possible measures to guarantee the security of
          places of worship and to prevent similar attacks in the future.
          58. The Government also confirmed that women in Jammu and Kashmir had been threatened
          by Islamic fundamentalist groups. Steps had been taken to reassure the local population and to
          combat such acts of intolerance and intimidation.
          59. Finally, the Government confirmed the attack on the American missionary
          Joseph William Cooper and on the Reverend Benson and said that 9 of the 15 suspects
          had already been arrested. However, it stressed that Mr. Cooper had been ordered to leave
          the country for carrying out religious activities that contravened the Foreigners Act 1946.
          60. The second communication concerns the following: first, on 27 March 2003, Gujarat
          State apparently adopted legislation aimed at preventing religious conversions by “force,
          allurement or any other fraudulent means” - terms that are very broadly defined in the law -
          legislation which stipulates that the permission of a district magistrate must be obtained before
        
          
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          conversion; second, in April 2003, a young Dalit girl from Parwasa, Madhya Pradesh, was
          allegedly thrown into a well by three men for praying in a temple; and, lastly, on 30 May 2003,
          members of a higher caste allegedly tried to stop a group of Mahasangh Dalits from entering a
          temple in the town of Hitni, Maharashtra, by throwing stones at them and blocking the roads.
          Iran (Islamic Republic of)
          61. The first communication is dealt with in paragraphs 58 to 61 of the interim report.
          62. The second communication concerns reports that on 7, 9 and 10 August 2003 the
          Jani-e-Jani newspaper published three defamatory and insulting articles about the Baha'i
          community, inter alia by branding Baha'is as terrorists and foreign agents.
          Israel
          63. See paragraphs 62 to 65 of the interim report.
          Kazakhstan
          64. See paragraphs 66 to 70 of the interim report.
          Kyrgyzstan
          65. See paragraphs 71 to 73 of the interim report.
          Latvia
          66. The Government is apparently considering striking a clause from the law on religions that
          prohibits the registration of more than one association from the same denomination. This move
          appears to have the support of several religious minorities, including the Autonomous True
          Orthodox Church, but the metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church in Riga is said to be
          against it because it would allow other Orthodox churches to register.
          67. In addition, it is reported that on 28 August 2003, after two months of threats, the
          archbishop of the Autonomous True Orthodox Church in Daugavpils was injured in an arson
          attack on his cathedral and that the police did not take the appropriate security measures after
          the event.
          Morocco
          68. See paragraph 74 of the interim report.
          Myanmar
          69. See paragraphs 77 to 79 of the interim report.
        
          
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          Nigeria
          70. The first two communications are dealt with in paragraphs 80 to 83 of the interim report.
          71. The third concerns reports that acts of religious violence have caused 15 deaths
          since 8 June 2003 in the town of Numan. Gangs of Christian youths are said to have set fire
          to several mosques in the town and to have been responsible for violence in neighbouring
          villages.
          Uzbekistan
          72. The first two communications are dealt with in paragraphs 102 to 107 of the interim
          report.
          73. In letters dated 10 and 18 July 2003, the Government provides a detailed reply to
          these two communications. With regard to the difficulties encountered by Jehovah's Witnesses,
          the Government replies that the latter belonged to an unregistered religious organization and
          points out that, in several of the cases mentioned by the Special Rapporteur, members of this
          community had received fines and prison sentences for offering illegal religious instruction
          and, in one case, for committing acts that “offended the religious and atheistic convictions of
          citizens with a view to inciting religious-based hatred against certain groups”. The difficulties
          encountered by other Christian minorities are explained in a similar way (they are unregistered
          and offer illegal religious instruction).
          74. With regard to the conditions for Muslims in prison No. 6461, the Government points out
          that they had been able to observe Ramadan and had not been punished for doing so. According
          to the Government, the information contained in the open letter from 22 Muslim prisoners did
          not correspond to reality. The letter's signatories included prisoners who regularly broke
          prison rules and the letter had been sent after an incident on 17 April 2003 related to discipline
          in the workplace that had no effect on the exercise of prisoners' freedom of religion.
          Moreover, 20 of the 22 signatories had apparently been reading religious materials in May and
          June 2003.
          75. The third communication concerns reports that a Pentecostal pastor from Andijan had
          decided to seek asylum to protest against the conditions in which Protestants had to live in
          Andijan. Among other things, the authorities reportedly refused to register the Pentecostal
          Church, which prevents it from functioning normally.
          76. The fourth communication concerns reports that, as part of a policy to prohibit the
          activities of Protestant churches that are not registered in Uzbekistan, the authorities in the town
          of Navoi confiscated books from a Baptist mobile library on 27 September 2003 and prevented
          members of the (unregistered) Baptist Church from holding a meeting.
          Pakistan
          77. See paragraphs 84 and 85 of the interim report.
        
          
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          78. In a letter dated 4 August 2003, on the attacks in Taxila and on Murree School,
          the Government supplied the identity of the four individuals arrested and tried by an anti-
          terrorist court. It stresses that these attacks must be seen in the context of the events in
          Afghanistan after 11 September 2001 and that various measures have been taken to protect
          certain minorities.
          79. In a letter dated 31 October 2003, the Government replied that the perpetrators of the
          attack in Chianwali had been arrested and brought before the anti-terrorist court in Gujranwala.
          Lao People's Democratic Republic
          80. The first communication is dealt with in paragraph 86 of the interim report.
          81. In the second communication, the Special Rapporteur returned to the question of
          the arrest of Christians in Muang Nong, drawing the Government's attention to reports
          that 12 Christians continued to be detained for not signing a statement that they “would stop
          following Christ”.
          Republic of Moldova
          82. See paragraphs 75 and 76 of the interim report.
          83. In a letter dated 22 July 2003, the Government replied that none of the persons
          identified in the communication was a police officer in the town of Bendery and that there had
          been no cases of detention involving the confiscation of religious books during the periods
          indicated.
          United Republic of Tanzania
          84. The authorities in Zanzibar apparently declared that the legislation obliging Muslims to
          obtain the mufti's permission before meeting must be followed to the letter, so that the
          Government would be able to identify individuals trying to use religion to divide the people of
          Zanzibar. Violent clashes are reported to have taken place in February 2003 between the forces
          of law and order and a group of Muslims over this piece of legislation.
          Romania
          85. See paragraph 87 of the interim report.
          United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
          86. The Government reportedly proposes to make it illegal for the administrators of churches
          or religious charities to obtain “digital multiplex licences”, which are vital for access to modern
          technology.
          87. In a letter dated 16 September 2003, the United Kingdom Government replied that the
          fact that church administrators are not able to own digital multiplex licences is a restriction
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/63
          page 16
          carried over from former legislation and justified by the rarity of this broadcasting system in
          British territory, where the authorities' duty is to satisfy the largest possible number of people.
          Moreover, this restriction does not affect religious institutions' right to broadcast: indeed, this
          right has been extended.
          Serbia and Montenegro
          88. The first two communications are dealt with in paragraphs 88 to 90 of the interim report.
          89. The third concerns reports that at a concert organized in Vrdnik on 8 August 2003 by the
          local Pentecostal Church, unidentified individuals threw an explosive device near the stage and
          cut off the power supply with an axe. One of them then reportedly drove a car into the area
          where the audience was standing and threatened the organizers, claiming to be armed.
          Slovakia
          90. The leaders of certain religious minorities reportedly complained about legislation that
          prohibits religious communities with fewer than 20,000 members from obtaining legal status,
          which they need, among other things, to build places of worship.
          Slovenia
          91. Several religious minorities who would like the new law to enshrine the principle of
          equality between all religions are said to have expressed concern about the choice of leader for
          the team responsible for drafting the bill, Mr. Lovro Strum, who is a member of the Order of
          Malta.
          92. It is also reported that other religious minorities have recently complained about
          restrictions on the exercise of their freedom of religion, including Muslims, who are
          experiencing great difficulty in their efforts to build a mosque.
          Sudan
          93. See paragraph 91 of the interim report.
          Sri Lanka
          94. A Supreme Court decision would allegedly put a stop to proselytizing and religious
          conversions and deny legal status to two Christian organizations. The decision is said to have
          been favourably received by Buddhist organizations upset by the attitude of Christian groups
          offering money, clothes and books to would-be converts.
          Tajiliistan
          95. The first communication is dealt with in paragraphs 92 and 93 of the interim report.
          96. The second communication concerns reports that a Baptist was fined five times the
          minimum monthly salary for accosting passers-by in the street, even though the practice is not
          prohibited.
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/63
          page 17
          Turkmenistan
          97. The first three communications are dealt with in paragraphs 94 to 98 of the interim
          report.
          98. A fourth communication draws attention to information on the complete lack of freedom
          of religion or belief in the country, except for Sunni Muslims or members of the Russian
          Orthodox Church, who are allowed to congregate in a limited number of registered places of
          worship. It is alleged that all other religious communities in the country are banned de facto and
          that their activities are punishable by law.
          Turkey
          99. See paragraphs 99 to 101 of the interim report.
          Viet Nam
          100. The first communication is dealt with in paragraphs 108 to 115 of the interim report.
          101. The second communication concerns reports that Thich Tn Luc, a Vietnamese Buddhist
          monk recognized as a refugee in Cambodia, who was been missing since 25 July 2002, has been
          returned to Viet Nam. It appears that his family was informed that he had been brought before a
          court in Ho Chi Minh City on 1 August 2003, but that his trial had been postponed.
          102. In a letter dated 22 November 2002, the Vietnamese Government replied that the
          information sent to it was incorrect. Thich Tn Luc had been arrested at the border between
          Viet Nam and Cambodia while attempting to contact foreign organizations with a view to
          organizing anti-Vietnamese activities. His trial had been due to be held on 1 August 2003 but
          had been postponed for humanitarian reasons at the request of his wife.
          Yemen
          103. See paragraph 116 of the interim report.
          2. Late replies
          China
          104. As regards the action against members of Falun Gong (see A157/274, paras. 21-27), the
          Government sent a detailed reply on 10 March 2003, the full text of which has been circulated as
          a separate document of the Commission at its sixtieth session and contains information
          concerning certain individual cases raised by the Special Rapporteur along with comments on the
          Government's policy vis-à-vis Falun Gong.
          Pakistan
          105. As regards the accusation of blasphemy against Parvez Masih (see A156/253, para. 62),
          the Government replied in a letter dated 4 August 2003 that this person's trial was still pending,
          and that he had access to legal counsel and benefited from all the requirements for a fair trial.
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/63
          page 18
          With reference to the murder of Mohammed Yousaf Au of (see E/CN.4/2003/66), the
          Government confirmed that he had been killed by a fellow prisoner on 11 June 2002 and that
          legal action had been taken against the latter. With reference to the attack in Saint Dominic's
          Roman Catholic Church (see A157/274, para. 49), the Government gave the names of eight
          persons who had taken part in the attack; seven of them had been killed by the police in the
          course of clashes while the last was a fugitive. Lastly, as regards the rape of Naira Nadia Masih
          (E/CN.4/2003/66), the Government replied that medical examinations had been ordered to
          determine her age and that judicial proceedings were still in progress.
          3. Report on communications since 1993
          106. This report concerns communications sent by the Special Rapporteur and the reaction of
          States, on the basis of the reports submitted since 1993.'
          (a) Structural analysis of the Special Rapporteur's communications and reactions by
          States
          107. The Special Rapporteur has prepared tables 4 to 7 in order to provide a better
          appreciation of the evolution of the communications and urgent appeals and reactions by States.
          Table 4
          Evolution of communications
          Year of
          Number of
          Number of
          Names of States concerned
          report
          States
          communications
          concerned
          sent
          1994 27 28 Albania, Algeria, Australia, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Cameroon,
          China, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Greece,
          India, Iran (Islamic Republic of) (2), Iraq, Malaysia, Myanmar,
          Nepal, Pakistan, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saudi
          Arabia, Spain, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Viet Nam
          1995 50 56 Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Austria, Bangladesh (2),
          Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Cuba,
          Cyprus, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India,
          Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of) (2), Iraq (3), Israel and
          the occupied territories, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia,
          Malaysia (2), Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal,
          Nigeria, Pakistan (2), Philippines, Romania, Russian
          Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia (2), Sri Lanka, Sudan,
          Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Republic
          of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe
          1 E/CN.4/1994/79; E/CN.4/1995/91 and Add. 1; E/CN.4/1996/95; E/CN.4/1997/9 1;
          E/CN.4/1998/6; E/CN.4/1999/58; E/CN.4/2000/65; E/CN.4/200 1/63; E/CN.4/2002/73;
          E/CN.4/2003/66.
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/63
          page 19
          Year of
          report
          Number of
          States
          concerned
          Number of
          communications
          sent
          Names of States concerned
          1996
          46
          52
          Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Bangladesh,
          Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China (5),
          Cuba (2), Cyprus, Egypt (2), Eritrea, Germany, India,
          Indonesia, Japan, Lao People's Democratic Republic,
          Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco,
          Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland,
          Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia,
          Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovenia, Sudan, Turkey, Ukraine,
          Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Yemen
          1997 49 51 Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Bangladesh, Belarus,
          Bhutan, Bolivia, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burundi, Chad,
          China (2), Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia,
          Greece, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Israel, Japan,
          Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon,
          Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria,
          Pakistan (2), Republic of Moldova, Romania,
          Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia,
          Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates,
          United Kingdom, United States, Viet Nam, Yemen,
          Yugoslavia
          1998 51 59 Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan,
          Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam,
          Bulgaria, China (3), Comoros, Czech Republic, Egypt, Gabon,
          Gambia, Georgia, Greece, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of),
          Iraq (2), Israel, Kuwait, Latvia, Mauritania, Mongolia (2),
          Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman,
          Pakistan, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation (2),
          Singapore, Slovakia (2), Somalia, Sudan, Switzerland,
          Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (2),
          Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Arab Emirates,
          Uzbekistan, Viet Nam (2), Yemen, Yugoslavia
          1999 46 63 Afghanistan (3), Albania, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh,
          Belarus, Belgium, Bhutan, Bulgaria, China (2), Cyprus,
          Egypt (3), Eritrea, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece,
          India (3), Indonesia (2), Iran (Islamic Republic of) (5), Iraq,
          Kazakhstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia,
          Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco,
          Myanmar, Pakistan, Democratic People's Republic of Korea,
          Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi
          Arabia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan (3), Turkey (2),
          Turkmenistan (2), Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan (2),
          Yemen
          2000 55 92 Afghanistan, Azerbaijan (3), Bangladesh (2), Belarus, Bolivia,
          Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria (2), Cape Verde, China (4),
          Comoros (2), Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic People's
          Republic of Korea (2), Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Eritrea,
          Finland, Gabon, Georgia (2), Greece (2), India (5),
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/63
          page 20
          Year of
          Number of
          Number of
          Names of States concerned
          report
          States
          communications
          concerned
          sent
          Indonesia (3), Iran (Islamic Republic of) (2), Iraq, Israel (4),
          Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic,
          Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mexico, Mozambique,
          Myanmar, Nepal (3), Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan (4), Peru,
          Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova (2), Russian
          Federation, Samoa, Saudi Arabia (2), Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian
          Arab Republic (2), Tajikistan, Turkmenistan (3), Uganda,
          Ukraine (2), United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan (3),
          Viet Nam (3), Yemen (2)
          2001 53 86 Afghanistan, Azerbaijan (2), Belarus, Bhutan, Bulgaria (2),
          Burundi, Chad, China (5), Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt (3), Eritrea,
          Georgia (4), Greece, Hungary, India (3), Indonesia (5), Iran
          (Islamic Republic of), Israel, Italy (2), Jordan (2), Kazakhstan,
          Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia,
          Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Myanmar (3), Nauru,
          Nepal (2), Niger, Nigeria (2), Norway, Pakistan (3), Papua
          New Guinea, Peru, Philippines (2), Republic of Korea,
          Russian Federation (2), Saudi Arabia (2), South Africa,
          Sri Lanka, Sudan, The former Yugoslav Republic of
          Macedonia, Turkey (2), Turkmenistan (4), Uganda, Ukraine,
          United Kingdom, Uzbekistan (2), Viet Nam, Yemen
          2002 29 64 Afghanistan (3), Bhutan, China, Cuba, Egypt (3), Estonia,
          Georgia (4), Guinea Bissau, India (3), Indonesia (4), Iran
          (Islamic Republic of), Kenya, Lao People's Democratic
          Republic, Lebanon, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal (2),
          Nigeria (2), Pakistan (4), Republic of Korea, Saint Lucia,
          Saudi Arabia (2), Sri Lanka, Sudan (2), Turkey,
          Turkmenistan (3), Ukraine (2), United Arab Emirates,
          Viet Nam (5)
          2003 24 37 Azerbaijan (2), Bangladesh, China (4), Egypt, Eritrea,
          Georgia (2), India (2), Indonesia (2), Iran (Islamic
          Republic of), Israel, Jordan, Myanmar (2), Nigeria (2),
          Pakistan (4), Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova,
          Singapore, Saudi Arabia (3), Sudan, Turkmenistan, Turkey,
          United States of America, Yugoslavia and Zimbabwe.
          2004 42 69 Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Armenia (2), Azerbaijan (2),
          Bangladesh, Belarus (3), Bulgaria, China (4), Egypt (2),
          Eritrea, Fiji, Greece (2), India (2), Iran (Islamic Republic
          of) (2), Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan (2), Lao People's
          Democratic Republic (2), Latvia, Morocco, Myanmar (2),
          Nigeria (3), Pakistan, Republic of Moldova, Romania,
          Russian Federation (2), Saudi Arabia, Serbia and
          Montenegro (3), Slovakia, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Sudan,
          Tajikistan (2), The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,
          Turkey, Turkmenistan (4), United Arab Emirates,
          United Kingdom, United States of America, United Republic
          of Tanzania, Uzbekistan (4), Viet Nam (2), Yemen
        
          
          Table S
          Evolution of urgent appeals
          E/CN. 4/2004/63
          page 21
          Year of
          report
          Number of
          urgent appeals
          Number of States
          concerned
          States concerned
          1995
          6
          5
          Bangladesh, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq (2), Pakistan,
          Saudi Arabia
          1996
          1997
          4
          4
          2
          4
          China (2), Egypt (2)
          China, Egypt, Iran (Islamic Republic of) (2), United Arab
          Emirates
          1998
          1999
          2000
          2001
          2002
          2003
          2004
          2
          4
          2
          1
          2
          3
          0
          2
          2
          2
          1
          1
          2
          China, United Arab Emirates
          Iran (Islamic Republic of) (3), Sudan
          Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq
          Iran (Islamic Republic of)
          Afghanistan
          China, Nigeria (2)
          Table 6
          Evolution of replies to communications
          Year of
          Teport
          1994
          1995
          1996
          1997
          1998
          1999
          2000
          2001
          2002
          2003
          2004
          ‘Jumber of States
          concerned
          27
          50
          46
          49
          51
          46
          55
          53
          29
          24
          24
          Number of States replying
          (the number in parenthesis
          corresponds to late responses)
          17(5)
          10 (6)
          7(17)
          1500)
          2103)
          22(6)
          2300)
          1602)
          1106)
          7(2)
          5 (16)
          ‘ ercentage of replies to
          communications (the percentage
          in parenthesis includes the late
          esponses)
          62.96 (85.18)
          20 (54)
          15.21 (36.95)
          30.61 (46.93)
          41.17 (52.94)
          47.82 (71.73)
          41.81 (61.81)
          30.18 (52.83)
          20.82 (87.50)
          29.16 (37.50)
          35.71 (40.47)
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/63
          page 22
          Table 7
          Evolution of responses to urgent appeals
          Year
          Number of urgent
          appeals and States
          concerned
          Responses
          Percentage
          (in parenthesis)
          1995
          6 (5)
          Bangladesh (1)
          16.66
          1996
          4(2)
          Egypt(2)
          50
          1997
          4(4)
          China (1), United Arab Emirates (1)
          50
          1998
          2(2)
          China (1), United Arab Emirates (1)
          100
          1999
          4(2)
          Islamic Republic of Iran (2)
          50 (75 taking into account
          late response from the Sudan
          received in 2001)
          2000
          2(2)
          Islamic Republic of Iran (1), Iraq (1)
          100
          2001
          10)
          Islamic Republic of Iran (1) + late response
          from the Sudan to one 1999 urgent appeal
          100
          2002
          20)
          Response from the Permanent Mission of
          Afghanistan to the United Nations at
          Geneva to one urgent appeal/No response
          from the Taliban
          50ff one considers the
          response from the Permanent
          Mission of Afghanistan.
          Otherwise 0 if one considers
          the response of the Taliban
          2003
          3 (2)
          China (1)
          33.33
          2004
          0
          0
          108. In all, 705 communications have been sent to 127 States (of the 189 United Nations
          Member States) since the Special Rapporteur took up his post. Of this total, 10 States were
          sent 28 urgent appeals.
          Analysis of communications
          109. The exponential increase in the number of communications (see table 1) is on a par with
          the increase in the number of States receiving communications. A considerable increase in the
          number of States concerned by several communications during a single reporting period should
          also be noted. This practice is by no means selective in respect of a given State, but reflects
          particularly critical situations or cases in a given country. Its expansion has been rapid
          since 2000 since it has also become a means for regular rather than sporadic follow-up to serious
          problems in a particular State.
          110. The number of urgent appeals has remained limited in accordance with the objective
          underpinning the introduction in 1994 in the mandate of this new type of communication,
          representing a more rapid and efficient response to very serious situations and cases. Recourse
          to this procedure can only produce the expected effects insofar as it continues to be an exception
          justified by imminent and serious threats to the life, health or safety of persons. Making it
          another type of procedure would be tantamount to marginalizing it and to depriving the
          procedures available in general to special rapporteurs of some of their credibility.
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/63
          page 23
          Analysis of State reactions
          111. It can be seen from table 6 that although the percentage of replies received within the
          deadline has fallen considerably, if the late replies are also taken into account it increases. This
          development can be explained by and coincides with the surge in the number of communications
          and States concerned during this period. The explanation proves to be that in this new situation
          States have not always been in a position to reply within the deadline established. The majority
          of States, however, are adapting to this development by replying to the communications
          nevertheless, although generally somewhat late.
          112. As regards the urgent appeals, apart from the year 1995 when this new procedure was
          introduced, response rates tend to be satisfactory.
          113. Response rates nevertheless need to improve; this presupposes better cooperation from all
          States, particularly those that have never replied since the inception of the mandate (these are:
          Angola, Benin, Cambodia, Comoros, Dominican Republic, Gabon, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi,
          Mali, Nauru, Niger, Papua-New Guinea, Qatar, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa,
          Uganda and Zimbabwe). Generally speaking, many States have difficulty in coping with the
          numerous requests addressed to them by mechanisms the numbers of which are constantly on the
          increase for reasons that are basically political.
          114. Such situations, that are not specific to the mandate on freedom of religion or belief,
          should occupy more of the Commission's attention. There must be limits to the convenient
          tranquillity of silence, especially when that silence is not due to technical considerations.
          (b) Analysis of the merits of communications
          Violations offreedoni of religion or belief
          115. An analysis of communications since the inception of the mandate in respect of the
          principles, rights and freedoms set out in the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of
          Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief makes it possible to establish the
          following seven categories of violations:
          (a) Violations of the principle of non-discrimination in matters of religion or belief,
          namely, policies, legislation and regulations, practices and acts that discriminate against certain
          communities, particularly when they are minorities or do not belong to the official religion.
          There are cases in this regard concerning Egypt, France, Islamic Republic of Iran and the United
          States of America;
          (b) Violations of the principle of tolerance in matters of religion or belief, namely,
          policies, practices and acts of religious intolerance by the State and society, particularly on the
          part of non-State entities such as communities of religion or belief and political and religious
          groups, the strongest manifestations of which verge on religious (inter- and intra-religious)
          extremism. The media also play a role in propagating a climate of intolerance vis-à-vis certain
          communities, particularly minority communities. Cases in this regard concern Georgia,
          Indonesia and Viet Nam;
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/63
          page 24
          (c) Violations of freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief, namely, policies,
          legislation and regulations, practices and acts contrary to the principle of conscientious objection
          and the freedom to change one's religion or to keep one's religion or belief Cases in this regard
          concern China, Eritrea, Israel, the Lao People's Democratic Republic and Saudi Arabia;
          (d) Violations of freedom to manifest one's religion or belief, namely, policies,
          legislation and regulations, practices and acts that constitute controls, interference, prohibitions
          and abusive restrictions on the freedom to manifest one's religion or belief Cases in this regard
          concern the Russian Federation, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan;
          (e) Violations of the freedom to enjoy the use of religious property, namely, policies,
          practices and acts affecting the freedom to enjoy the use of religious property that take the form
          of the confiscation or the non-restitution of properties, refusal of access to places of worship,
          closure, attacks on and destruction of such places of worship and of cemeteries, places of burial
          and religious schools. Cases in this regard concern Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and Romania;
          (f) Violations of the right to life, physical integrity and health of individuals (clerics
          and religious leaders, believers and non-believers), namely, policies, practices and acts that take
          the form of threats, ill-treatment, arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, death
          sentences, executions and assassinations. Cases in this regard concern Bangladesh, India and
          Pakistan;
          (g) Violations affecting women, namely, a category encapsulating the first six
          categories. It is important to stress that such violations are not only carried out by extremist
          groups and communities but also and most often by society and official institutions. Cases in
          this regard concern Afghanistan and Nigeria.
          Religions or beliefs covered by communications
          116. The Special Rapporteur's communications have covered violations affecting the majority
          of the world's communities of religion or belief
          117. On the one hand, the religions in question are those commonly termed “major” or
          “traditional religions” because of their numerical importance internationally, namely,
          Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism, including the main movements within
          each religion.
          118. On the other hand, there are the other communities of religion or belief, generally
          numerically smaller in international terms, such as, for example, the Baha'is, Jehovah's
          Witnesses and Ahmadis, in addition to humanists and other non-believers. Particular attention
          has also been given to the beliefs of indigenous peoples.
          119. It should be noted that the line between the two types of religious community is not
          always clear-cut, insofar as certain communities may be classified, by insiders or external
          observers, as a perceived part of a major religion, or as a separate religion, or a belief or
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/63
          page 25
          organization whose goals are unconnected with any religion or belief In this connection, among
          the communities of religion or belief to which the unqualified and indiscriminate appellation of
          sects is appended by certain people, there exist a number of movements which are manifestly
          movements of religion or belief, just as there are groups and movements that, disguised under
          freedom of religion or belief, engage in activities that are sometimes criminal. The excesses of
          some of these movements have aroused considerable emotion in public opinion, inducing some
          States as a result to adopt legislation sometimes of a very dubious nature in terms of international
          law.
          120. As regards changes in violations of religion or belief, the Christian religion appears the
          most affected in quantitative terms, followed in decreasing order by the category of “other
          communities of religion or belief', particularly minorities or minority groups, including those
          regarded as “sectarian”; then by Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and Hinduism. The events
          of 11 September 2001, however, unleashed a veritable Islamophobia, the extent of which cannot
          yet be estimated, rendering this religion suspect in the eyes of many; this could in time modify
          these conclusions.
          121. These developments, however, must be appreciated within the framework of the mandate
          on freedom of religion or belief, and particularly its limited means. Bearing in mind the extent
          of the phenomenon, the Special Rapporteur stresses the need for more systematic work and
          reiterates his proposal for the preparation of an annual world report on freedom of religion or
          belief
          122. Going beyond this classification and its analysis, it is clear that no religion or belief is
          safe from violations and that intolerance is not a failing on the part of a State or a category of
          States, or of a religion or belief
          II. REPORT ON PREVENTIVE ACTION
          123. Since 1993, the Special Rapporteur has accorded the greatest possible importance to the
          prevention of intolerance and discrimination in freedom of religion or belief He has undertaken
          research on the matter and put forward proposals so that action can be taken not only in respect
          of manifestations of intolerance and discrimination but also of their real causes. In 2001 this
          effort was sanctioned by the change in the title of the mandate on religious intolerance, which
          became the mandate on freedom of religion or belief
          A. Education
          124. Since taking up his post, the Special Rapporteur's opinion has been that prevention could
          first and foremost be ensured by creating a human rights culture, through education in particular.
          Education may indeed make a decisive contribution to the assimilation of values based on human
          rights and the emergence of attitudes and behaviour embodying tolerance and
          non-discrimination. School, as an essential element of the education system, can also be an
          essential and preferred vehicle for prevention.
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/63
          page 26
          125. Pursuantto Commissionresolution 1994/18 of 25 February 1994, encouragingthe
          Special Rapporteur to consider the contribution of education to the promotion of religious
          tolerance, the Special Rapporteur initiated in 1994, by means of a questionnaire addressed to
          States, a survey of school curricula with reference to freedom of religion in primary or
          elementary and secondary education.
          126. On the basis of the replies to this questionnaire from 78 States and the study entitled
          “Racial discrimination, religious intolerance and education” (AICONF. 189/PC. 2/22), the
          Special Rapporteur undertook consultations in order to benefit from the experience of
          certain international, regional and national organizations, both intergovernmental and
          non-governmental, and considered that it was necessary for an international consultative
          conference on school education in relation to freedom of religion and belief, tolerance
          and non-discrimination to be held. This Conference took place in Madrid from 23 to
          25 November 2001 on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the
          Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on
          Religion or Belief
          127. Following the Conference, a final document was adopted by consensus. This document,
          which recommends measures of a general nature as well as on more particular issues and calls
          not only on States but also on all actors in society to make a contribution, should serve as a
          framework for activities to make school a place for learning about peace, understanding and
          tolerance among individuals, groups and nations in order to develop respect for pluralism.
          128. As a follow-up to the Madrid Conference the Special Rapporteur has continued to take
          various initiatives with States, human rights institutes, non-governmental organizations and
          religious communities and with United Nations treaty bodies and the special rapporteurs
          particularly concerned with the prevention of intolerance and discrimination.
          129. The Special Rapporteur attended various meetings prepared by non-governmental
          organizations that provided an opportunity for discussing means of distributing the Madrid final
          document and implementing its recommendations; these included the fifth World Congress
          of the International Religious Liberty Association (Manila, 11-13 June 2002) and the
          thirty-first World Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom
          (Budapest, 28 July- 2 August 2002).
          130. A strategic analysis seminar was held in Oslo from 8 to 10 December 2002 and then in
          Rabat from 4 to 6 May 2003 on the initiative of the Oslo Coalition on the Freedom of Religion or
          Belief, at which participants studied means of setting up an international interdisciplinary
          network to facilitate the implementation of the aims of and follow-up to the recommendations of
          the Madrid Conference. This seminar was also part of the preparations for a conference of
          international interdisciplinary experts to be held in 2004, the purpose of which will be to
          promote the elaboration of models for education in religion and ethics in accordance with
          international human rights instruments.
          131. Lastly, the Special Rapporteur is following closely the activities of the human rights
          institutes, in particular, the Arab Institute of Human Rights and the University of Fryeburg,
          concerning education for tolerance and non-discrimination, particularly in schools.
        
          
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          B. Inter-religious dialogue
          132. A concern of the Special Rapporteur has always been to encourage inter-religious
          dialogue as a fundamental aspect of prevention where religion and belief are concerned, more
          particularly the prevention of conflicts. In this regard, religions need to examine ways of
          managing the expression of their own internal diversity while at the same time incorporating a
          genuinely pluralist culture.
          133. The Special Rapporteur has put forward specific recommendations to this end in the
          context of his in situ visits and has covered the issue of inter-religious dialogue in his general
          reports and in the general framework of the International Consultative Conference on School
          Education in relation to Freedom of Religion or Belief, Tolerance and Non-Discrimination.
          134. The Special Rapporteur has also frequently stressed the importance of the numerous
          initiatives taken by the officials of religions, large and small, to meet and work together for
          peace, such as the Millennium World Peace Summit (A156/253, para. 126) or the activities
          undertaken by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
          in the context of the Year of Dialogue among Civilizations in 2001 and other inter-religious
          summit meetings (E/CN.4/2003/66).
          III. REPORT ON COOPERATION WITH THE COMMISSION
          ON HUMAN RIGHTS, UNITED NATIONS HUMAN
          RIGHTS MECHANISMS, SPECIALIZED AGENCIES
          OF THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM AND
          NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
          A. Follow-up to Commission on Human Rights initiatives
          1. Contribution to the World Conference against Racism, Racial
          Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance
          135. The Special Rapporteur was called on to contribute actively to the preparation of the
          Conference, both by putting forward recommendations concerning religious intolerance and
          by initiating studies. He accordingly submitted to the Preparatory Committee, at its first
          session, a study entitled “Racial discrimination and religious discrimination: identification
          and measures” (AICONF. 189/PC. 1/7), and, at its the second session, a second study entitled
          “Racial discrimination, religious intolerance and education” (AICONF.189/PC.2/22), containing
          specific recommendations, particularly in the sphere of prevention.
          2. Follow-up to the resolutions on defamation
          136. In 1999, the Commission, inter alia, requested the Special Rapporteur on religious
          intolerance to take account in his reports of its resolution 1999/82 of 30 April 1999, entitled
          “Defamation of religions”.
        
          
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          137. The issue of defamation has been one of the Special Rapporteur's major concerns since
          he took up his post, because it is an intrinsic violation of the freedom of religion or belief (see, in
          particular, A156/253, paragraph 137). More recently, the Special Rapporteur has closely
          followed the repercussions of 11 September 2001 on Islam (see above).
          3. Follow-up to the resolutions on women
          138. Since 1996, the Commission has requested in its resolutions on freedom of religion or
          belief that the Special Rapporteur should, in preparing his reports, take women into consideration
          and bring out gender-specific abuses. The Special Rapporteur has accordingly introduced a
          category into his general reports, in the section on the analysis of communications, on violations
          affecting women.
          139. The Special Rapporteur also addressed the Committee on the Elimination of
          Discrimination against Women in February 1998 in order to set out his approach to the
          situation of women with reference to religion and to initiate exchanges of views; he gave
          particular attention to this vulnerable group in the context of the International Consultative
          Conference on School Education in Relation to Freedom of Religion or Belief, Tolerance and
          Non-Discrimination. In the two studies he submitted to the Preparatory Committee of the World
          Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, the
          Special Rapporteur also drew attention to the situation of women.
          140. Lastly, at the fifty-eighth session of the Commission, the Special Rapporteur submitted a
          study on freedom of religion or belief and the situation of women vis-à-vis religion and traditions
          (E/CN. 4/2002/73/Add.2).
          141. The Special Rapporteur has on several occasions recommended that the relevant
          United Nations mechanisms as a whole should prepare an action plan to deal with discrimination
          affecting women that can be imputed to religions and traditions.
          B. Cooperation with United Nations human rights
          mechanisms and the specialized agencies
          142. Cooperation with the United Nations human rights mechanisms was initially with the
          other thematic and geographical special procedures mechanisms, for the most part informally but
          also in the annual meetings of special rapporteurs in Geneva.
          143. As regards the treaty bodies, the Human Rights Committee's case law on freedom of
          religion or belief has always been a basis for activities under the mandate. Cooperation has
          also been initiated with the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
          (see above), as well as with the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Committee on the
          Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
          144. As far as cooperation with the United Nations specialized agencies is concerned,
          UNESCO, which plays an important role with regard to religions, has been a valuable partner,
          particularly on the issue of inter-religious dialogue and in the context of the International
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/63
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          Consultative Conference on School Education in relation to Freedom of Religion or Belief,
          Tolerance and Non-Discrimination. The Special Rapporteur has also benefited from substantial
          cooperation from the United Nations Development Programme and United Nations information
          centres in preparing and conducting his in situ visits.
          C. Cooperation with non-governmental organizations
          145. The Special Rapporteur wishes to stress the essential role of the non-governmental
          organizations which have made an invaluable contribution to the mandate on freedom of religion
          or belief, both as regards management and prevention.
          IV. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
          146. At the conclusion of his activities pursuant to the mandate on freedom of religion or
          belief, the Special Rapporteur would like to draw up a balance of the activities undertaken
          since 1993. In the course of these 11 years the Special Rapporteur has witnessed a number
          of developments which lead him to make qualified observations.
          147. Where freedom of religion or belief in general is concerned, although a progressive
          decline is apparent in anti-religious policies or policies for the total control of religious
          matters by States in the name of political ideology, it must also be acknowledged that
          non-State entities have also played a more important role in recent years, often in terms of
          failure to respect freedom of religion or belief. Setting aside the very numerous instances
          of religious intolerance to be found everywhere in present-day society, the phenomenon of
          religious - or what passes for religious - extremism has recently taken on a new lease of life
          after noticeably declining at the end of the 1990s.
          148. In this context it should be stressed once again that extremism cannot be blamed
          on any one religion. The Special Rapporteur's activities have clearly shown that it is
          a rare religion that can boast that no extremism has a foothold in its ranks. The majority
          of religions have been and still are claimed as their authority by individuals or groups
          who disseminate messages of intolerance vis-à-vis other religions and who are frequently
          guilty of acts of serious violence against those who not belong to their camp. The
          Special Rapporteur emphasized in the conclusions of his last mid-term report to the
          General Assembly (A1581296) that, in many cases, States have not met their human rights
          obligations as regards freedom of religion. These are not limited to the negative obligation
          to refrain from violating the right to freedom of religion of belief; they also include the
          positive obligation to protect persons under their jurisdiction from violations of their
          rights, including those committed by non-State actors or entities. These measures should
          not only consist in prosecuting the perpetrators of such facts and providing compensation
          to the victims, but also in specific preventive action to reduce such acts in future and
          destroy the evil at the root.
          149. In the same order of ideas, the Special Rapporteur draws special attention to the
          fact that, despite the efforts made, women continue to be the main victims of violations of
          the right to freedom of religion or belief, and he encourages States to take firm and decisive
          measures in this regard.
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/63
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          150. It emerges increasingly clearly that extremist tendencies, on the basis of a message
          that is first and foremost religious, use religion for purposes far removed from human
          rights in general and from freedom of religion or belief in particular. It is striking to see
          the differences of opinion, and sometimes the open contradiction, between the great
          majority of the members of a religious community and the extremists who claim allegiance
          to it.
          151. This situation seems to be less recognized today than it was previously. It suffices
          to look at the extremism claiming its origins in Islam that has grown enormously since
          the 11 September 2001 attacks. In the report he submitted to the Commission at its
          fifty-eighth session, the Special Rapporteur expressed his acute concerns regarding the
          consequences for the system of protection of human rights in general, and freedom of
          religion or belief in particular, foreshadowed by these acts. Events over the past two years
          or so have more than confirmed these concerns.
          152. Islamophobia in this context could well convert the historic failure of Islam-based
          extremism into an unexpected victory. The desire to confme Islam in a pathological
          straitjacket and to make it the axis of evil ultimately leads to conferring the stamp of
          legitimacy on forms of extremism for which Islam has been a pretext rather than a cause.
          153. At the same time, the world has slipped dangerously towards a logic of war and
          repression that results in even more violent confrontations and can only fuel and sustain
          terrorism. Non-governmental organizations and international authorities continue to
          make known their concerns as to the logic of the “total security” that is being established
          under cover of anti-terrorism laws and a barrage of legislation intended to restrict
          immigration. The fight against terrorism sometimes ends up inserting freedom of religion
          or belief itself into the equation, as a result of the excesses it has encouraged in certain
          regions and by the blacklisting of entire communities and religions which are subjected to
          systematic suspicion and are discredited. The Special Rapporteur expresses the hope that,
          in their fight against terrorism, States wifi not mistake their target and, while continuing to
          combat terrorist acts, they wifi refocus their efforts on the origins of terrorism and on the
          need to ensure protection and promotion of human rights without bias or selectivity.
          154. Lastly, the Special Rapporteur has observed during these years that violations of
          freedom of religion or belief are relatively often provoked or amplified by certain of the
          media in pursuit of sensations, stereotypes and clichés. Such violations, in some
          circumstances, are fuelled by public speechmaking, implicitly and sometimes explicitly
          caffing for religious discrimination and hatred, in violation of articles 18 and 20 of the
          International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In such a situation, freedom of
          expression cannot constitute an absolute justification because that freedom is modified by
          restrictions provided for by international law that must absolutely be applied by States
          when it is a matter of preventing the transmission of messages that are an incitement to
          religious intolerance or hatred.
          155. The Special Rapporteur notes that inter-religious dialogue is struggling to make any
          headway of a serious and sincere nature despite the number of recent and particularly
          laudable initiatives in this regard. The road to religious dialogue is stifi fraught with
        
          
          E/CN. 4/2004/63
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          difficulties that can only be avoided by famifiarity with other religions and by real and not
          assumed respect for them. The fragile nature of this dialogue is revealed in several recent
          examples involving the interests of the communities seeking to participate in it. The
          Special Rapporteur also considers that, in the implementation of international obligations
          concerning freedom of religion or belief, States, which often wrongly consider that they
          should play a discreet background role in inter-religious matters, ought to involve
          themselves more formally in inter-religious dialogue and take specific and deliberate steps
          to encourage it.
          156. As regards education as a means to combat intolerance and discrimination based on
          religion or belief, it is far from having freed itself from automatic identification with
          religion as a comfortable refuge and an easy alibi. Declarations of self-satisfaction with
          one's own tolerance serve as justification, and an indifferent acknowledgement of the other
          serves to replace genuine tolerance. As regards the situations that have put schools in
          several European countries in the forefront of current events, the Special Rapporteur
          draws attention to the dangers both of imposing uniformity and of mistrust of diversity and
          making use of freedom of religion or belief for purposes foreign to them and building
          ghettos.
          157. As for the steps effectively taken in education in religious tolerance, the task seems
          far from fmished; despite UNESCO's energetic action, the international community does
          not seem to feel particularly concerned. It is symptomatic that, despite the invitation to
          States by the General Assembly and the Commission to implement the fmal document
          adopted on 25 November 2001 by the International Consultative Conference on School
          Education in relation to Freedom of Religion or Belief, Tolerance and Non-Discrimination,
          few new initiatives or actions are visible apart from the remarkable efforts and inteffigent
          activities of certain non-governmental organizations. The Special Rapporteur has a duty to
          stress once again the fundamental, central and essential nature of education in promoting
          respect for freedom of religion or belief and energetically to encourage States to grant
          priority and fmd adequate resources for actions that may be taken in this regard.
          158. Lastly, as regards the other difficulties inherent in the activities of managing the
          mandate, without which the Special Rapporteur not only could not be in a position to carry
          out his task effectively but could not assess with exactitude and precision the progress to be
          made in terms of freedom of religion or belief, he can only encourage States to cooperate
          more both as regards the communications he submits to them and the requests for visits he
          sends them; such cooperation is essential to the existence of a mechanism capable of
          tackling one of the most sensitive aspects of present-day society.
        
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