Naming and shaming: 8 countries egregiously violating eremite freedom

By Brian Pellot / 30 April, 2014

In January, Index summarised a U.S. State Department’s “Countries of Particular Concern” — those that exceedingly violate eremite leisure rights within their borders. This list has remained immobile given 2006 and includes Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan. These countries not usually conceal eremite expression, they evenly woe and catch people who cranky domestic and amicable red lines around faith.

Today a U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an eccentric watchdog row combined by Congress to examination general eremite leisure conditions, expelled a 15th annual news recommending that a State Department double a list of misfortune offenders to embody Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Vietnam and Syria.

Here’s a roundup of a systematic, ongoing and gross eremite leisure violations maturation in each.

1. Egypt

The guarantee of eremite leisure that came with a revised structure and suspended Islamist boss final year has yet to transpire. An augmenting series of anarchist Sunnis, Coptic Christians, Shiite Muslims, atheists and other eremite minorities are being arrested for “ridiculing or scornful celestial religions or inciting narrow-minded strife” underneath a country’s heresy law. Attacks opposite these groups are occasionally investigated. Freedom of faith is theoretically “absolute” in a new structure authorized in January, yet usually for Muslims, Christians and Jews. Baha’is are deliberate apostates, denied state temperament cards and criminialized from enchanting in open eremite activities, as are Jehovah’s Witnesses. Egyptian courts condemned 529 Islamist supporters to death in Mar and another 683 in April, yet many of a Mar sentences have been commuted to life in prison. Courts also recently inspected a five-year jail judgment of writer Karam Saber, who allegedly committed heresy in his work.

2. Iraq

Iraq’s structure guarantees eremite freedom, yet a supervision has mostly unsuccessful to forestall religiously-motivated narrow-minded attacks. About two-thirds of Iraqi residents brand as Shiite and one-third as Sunni. Christians, Yezidis, Sabean-Mandaeans and other faith groups are shrinking as these minorities and atheists rush a country amid discrimination, harm and fear. Baha’is, prolonged deliberate apostates, are banned, as are supporters of Wahhabism. Sunni-Shia tensions have been exacerbated recently by a predicament in adjacent Syria and nonconformist attacks opposite eremite pilgrims on eremite holidays. A due personal standing law bearing Shiism is approaching to lower groups if upheld and has been heavily criticized for permitting girls to marry as immature as nine.

3. Nigeria

Nigeria is roughly divided north-south between Islam and Christianity with a trace of inland faiths throughout. Sectarian tensions along these geographic lines are serve difficult by ethnic, domestic and mercantile divisions. Laws in Nigeria strengthen eremite freedom, yet sequence of law is exceedingly lacking. As a result, a supervision has unsuccessful to stop Islamist organisation Boko Haram from terrorizing and methodically slaughtering Christians and Muslim critics. An estimated 16,000 people have been killed and many houses of ceremony broken in a past 15 years as a outcome of assault between Christians and Muslims. The immeasurable infancy of these crimes have left unpunished. Christians in Muslim-majority northern states frequently protest of taste in a spheres of education, employment, land tenure and media.

4. Pakistan

Pakistan’s record on eremite leisure is dismal. Harsh anti-blasphemy laws are frequently evoked to settle personal and community scores. Although no one has been executed for heresy in a past 25 years, dozens charged with a crime have depressed plant to vigilantism with impunity. Violent extremists from among Pakistan’s Taliban and Sunni Muslim infancy frequently aim a country’s many eremite minorities, that embody Shiites, Sufis, Christians, Hindus, Zoroastrians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Baha’is. Ahmadis are deliberate heretics and are prevented from identifying as Muslim, as a box of British Ahmadi Masud Ahmad done all too transparent in new months. Ahmadis are politically disenfranchised and Hindu marriages are not state-recognized. Laws contingency be unchanging with Islam, a state religion, and leisure of countenance is constitutionally “subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in a seductiveness of a excellence of Islam,” fostering a enlightenment of self-censorship.

5. Tajikistan

Religious leisure has fast run-down given Tajikistan’s 2009 sacrament law exceedingly curtailed giveaway exercise. Muslims, who paint 90 percent of a population, are heavily monitored and limited in terms of education, dress, event participation, imam preference and oration content. All eremite groups contingency register with a government. Proselytizing and private eremite preparation are forbidden, minors are criminialized from participating in many eremite activities and Muslim women face many restrictions on community worship. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been criminialized from a republic given 2007 for their responsible conflict to troops service, as have several other eremite groups. Hundreds of unregistered mosques have been sealed in new years, and “inappropriate” eremite texts are frequently confiscated.

6. Turkmenistan

The eremite leisure conditions in Turkmenistan is identical to that of Tajikistan yet worse due to a country’s unusual domestic siege and supervision repression. Turkmenistan’s structure guarantees eremite freedom, yet many laws, many particularly a 2003 sacrament law, protest these provisions. All eremite organizations contingency register with a supervision and sojourn theme to raids and nuisance even if approved. Shiite Muslim groups, Protestant groups and Jehovah’s Witnesses have all had their registration applications denied in new years. Private ceremony is criminialized and unfamiliar transport for pilgrimages and eremite preparation are severely restricted. The supervision hires and fires clergy, censors eremite texts, and fines and imprisons believers for their convictions.

7. Vietnam

Vietnam’s supervision uses deceptive inhabitant confidence laws to conceal eremite leisure and leisure of countenance as a means of progressing a management and control. A 2005 direct warns that “abuse” of eremite leisure “to criticise a country’s peace, independence, and unity” is bootleg and that eremite activities contingency not “negatively impact a informative traditions of a nation.” Religious farrago is high in Vietnam, with half a race claiming some form of Buddhism and a rest identifying as Catholic, Hoa Hao, Cao Dai, Protestant, Muslim or with other tiny faith and non-religious communities. Religious groups that register with a supervision are allowed to grow yet are closely monitored by specialized military forces, who occupy assault and danger to restrain unregistered groups.

8. Syria

The ongoing Syrian predicament is now being fought along narrow-minded lines, severely abating eremite leisure in a country. President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, aligned with Hezbollah and Shabiha, have targeted Syria’s majority-Sunni Muslim race with religiously-divisive tongue and attacks. Extremist groups on a other side, including al-Qaeda and a Islamic State of Iraq and a Levant (ISIL), have targeted Christians and Alawites in their quarrel for an Islamic state abandoned of eremite toleration or diversity. Many Syrians select their allegiances formed on their families’ faith in sequence to survive. It’s critical to note that all tellurian rights, not only eremite freedom, are pang in Syria and in adjacent interloper camps. In quieter times, proselytizing, acclimatisation from Islam and some interfaith marriages are restricted, and all eremite groups contingency strictly register with a government.

This essay was posted on Apr 30, 2014 during indexoncensorship.org

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