Free to Believe Or Not  |  A Parliamentary Fringe Event to the 2022 UK FoRB Ministerial

Free to Believe Or Not | A Parliamentary Fringe Event to the 2022 UK FoRB Ministerial



About:
This side-event was convened to garner parliamentary and greater international support for embedding language into two biennial United Nations General Assembly resolutions on the moratorium of the death penalty and extrajudicial killings, calling for the repeal of the death penalty for apostasy and blasphemy in law and practice.

Today at least 70 countries criminalise blasphemy and 22 criminalise apostasy. Of these countries at least 12 maintain the death penalty for apostasy or blasphemy. Even where the death penalty is not applied it has a chilling effect on the legitimate exercise of fundamental human rights as noted by the UN Secretary General in his report on the death penalty. It is used to justify the incommunicado detention, physical and psychological torture, denial of legal representation and medical care, and prolonged detention that often coincide with death sentences on the grounds of religion or belief.

Survivors and victims of these and similar laws from Yemen, Sudan and Bangladesh shared their, and others’, stories. Ambassador Chiara Porro – Australia’s representative to the International Religious Freedom of Belief Alliance – emphasised Australia’s commitment to the repeal of the death penalty and especially where it is used to punish individuals for apostasy or blasphemy. Lord David Alton chaired the event with former Member of Parliament Joël Voordewind from The Netherlands, the latter of which expressed Holland’s commitment to repeal the death penalty in law and practice for apostasy and blasphemy and garner additional support.

Read our charters:
Charter to Embed Language into UNGA Resolution on Extrajudicial Killings: https://bit.ly/3ONZDFj
Charter to Embed Language into UNGA Resolution for a Moratorium on the Death Penalty: https://bit.ly/3PSCC5e

Sign onto our charters:
https://forms.gle/UQevGmNEtbMjRfcq9

Speakers:
(00:08) Joël Voordewind – Former Member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands; Special Ambassador, ZOA
(00:38) Lord David Alton – Member of the House of Lords of the United Kingdom; Co-Founder, Jubilee Campaign UK
(10:33) Ambassador Chiara Porro – Ambassador of Australia to the Holy See
(16:52) Gulalai Ismail – Founder & Chairperson, Aware Girls
(21:49) Rose Parris Richter – Senior Advisor to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief
(30:53) John Ghanim – Yemeni Christian convert
(34:57) Sam Solomon – Expert on Islamic jurisprudence

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