At UN Human Rights Council: VCHR denounces religious freedom violations and suppression of civil society in Vietnam

GENEVA, 18 September 2019 (VCHR) – At the UN Human Rights Council’s 42nd session in Geneva today, Acting Together for Human Rights (AEDH) and the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights (VCHR) denounced Vietnam’s serious violations of human rights and freedom or religion or belief (FoRB), and the Hanoi government’s systematic refusal to engage in a genuine dialogue with the international community and civil society to improve the abysmal human rights situation in Vietnam.

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Desi Hanara
Indonesia: Draft Criminal Code Disastrous for Rights

Remove Provisions Harmful to Women, Minorities, Free Speech

(Jakarta) – The Indonesian parliament should substantially revise the proposed new criminal code to meet international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said today. The current bill contains articles that will violate the rights of women, religious minorities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, as well as freedom of speech and association.

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Desi Hanara
MEDIA STATEMENT - International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief: 22 August 2019

States must do more to stop hate crimes and promote interfaith initiatives, say UN rights experts

GENEVA (21 August 2019) – States have an important role to play in promoting religious tolerance and cultural diversity by promoting and protecting human rights, including freedom of religion or belief, say a group of UN independent experts*.

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Desi Hanara
Unilateral Conversion in Malaysia - Understanding the Controversy

Malaysiakini's story on a proposal that might be put before the Selangor State Assembly to allow for unilateral conversion has stoked not just controversy but also talk to the ouster of both the Menteri Besar and Speaker of House. K. Shanmuga, Director of the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism & Human Rights join Melisa Idris and Sharaad Kuttan to clarify points of law in this link.

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Desi Hanara
Religious Freedom in US and Indonesia

Religious freedom in the United States is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

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Desi Hanara
What’s Up With Buddhist Persecution in Vietnam?

Buddhists in Vietnam may not face violent attacks, but government restrictions on their faith are keenly felt.

While reports of arrests of, or attacks on, Buddhists in Vietnam are not frequent, the religious community has for decades lived in a perpetual atmosphere of persecution, which cannot be quantified by the number of “incidents” but instead manifests through official and unofficial restrictions imposed by the Southeast Asian country’s communist government.

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Desi Hanara
What’s Up With Religious Freedom Worldwide?

An overview from Nadine Maenza, vice chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

Persecution of religious minorities, particularly Christians and Muslims, has risen around the world over the last few years, and a new trend is emerging where non-state actors are playing an increasing role in targeted attacks, said Nadine Maenza, vice chair of the bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

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Desi Hanara
Ongoing Use of Defamation Laws Raises Questions of Malaysia's Reform Credentials

More than a year since the electoral victory of the Pakatan Harapan coalition in May 2018, reforms of repressive legislation restricting fundamental freedoms have progressed extremely slowly. While steps have been taken to establish a self-governing media council and some positive amendments to the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, the government has not followed through on commitments in its campaign manifesto to repeal or review repressive legislation, including the Sedition Act 1948, Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.

Read the article by the Civicus reviewing the repressive legislation in Malaysia that continue to restrict fundamental freedoms here.

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Desi Hanara
A Closer Look at How Religious Restrictions Have Risen Around the World

Over the decade from 2007 to 2017, government restrictions on religion – laws, policies and actions by state officials that restrict religious beliefs and practices – increased markedly around the world.

To access the tenth annual report on Religion and Public Life, published by the Pew research Centre which dives deeper into the ways government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion have changed, from 2007 to 2017, please click here.

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Desi Hanara