China aspires to global leadership, undermines fundamental human rights

China Sees Space on the High Moral Ground

By Aaron Rhodes

Bildergebnis für china davos

Davos, 19.01.2017 (Providence) – With Europe faltering and a new United States president attacking globalization and international organizations, and vowing to focus on national interests, leaders and experts are concerned about the threat of populism to what they still believe is the liberal democratic world order.

In this situation, China has taken center stage. At Davos on January 17, President Xi Jinping spoke of his government’s determination to play a responsible role in defending and contributing to multilateral efforts to “secure peace and reduce poverty.” Xi was applauded for opposing protectionism. All states, he intoned, should “view their own interests in a broader context,” and “refrain from pursuing their own interests at the expense of others.”

The contradiction between these positions and China’s program of building military installations on disputed islands in the South China Sea, a serious challenge to the international rule of law, is obvious. But they belie a more complex, and even more malignant, perversion of the principles upon which United Nations human rights treaties and institutions were founded, and they reflect an effort to defend and legitimate practices the international human rights system was set up to end. China, where 60 million people were murdered in the process of establishing and maintaining communist rule, continues to abuse the fundamental human rights of its people, undermines international human rights institutions, and indeed subverts the very concept of innate, individual human rights. (…)

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Aaron Rhodes is President of the Forum for Religious Freedom Europe. He was Executive Director of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights 1993-2007, and later a founder of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and Freedom Rights Project, a human rights think tank.

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86 members of the country’s Muslim minority have been killed since 9 October, with 34,000 fleeing across the border to Bangladesh

UN human rights envoy visits Burma as Rohingya genocide concerns mount

By Simon Lewis and Wa Lone

London/Naypyidaw, 09.01.2017 (Independent) – United Nations human rights envoy Yanghee Lee has arrived in Burma on a 12-day visit amid growing concern about reports of abuse of members of the Rohingya Muslim minority in a government security crackdown.

Attackers killed nine police officers on 9 October in a coordinated assault on posts near Burma’s border with Bangladesh. Authorities say members of the Rohingya minority carried out the attacks and launched a security sweep. Since then, at least 86 people have been killed and the UN says about 34,000 civilians have fled across the border to Bangladesh.

Residents and refugees accuse the military of killing, raping and arbitrarily detaining civilians while burning villages in northwestern Rakhine State. The government, led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, denies the accusations and insists a lawful counter-insurgency operation is underway.

Lee would visit the north of Rakhine State, where the military operation is taking place, the commercial hub Yangon, the capital Naypyidaw and Kachin State in the north, where government forces are battling autonomy-seeking ethnic Kachin guerrillas, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a statement.

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Three Recommendations to Stop the Persecution of Christians

Will the Trump Administration support Christians in the Middle East?

By Ian Speir

Washington D.C., 06.01.2017 (Providence) – When Donald Trump takes office on January 20, he will inherit a raft of foreign policy problems from his predecessor. Russia is again an ascendant power, with geopolitical ambitions that reach deep into Asia and ever more westward into Europe. New footholds in Iraq, Yemen, and Syria will allow Iran, the world’s top state sponsor of terrorism, to continue “exporting” the Islamic Revolution to its neighbors. Meanwhile, its revolutionary proxy, Hezbollah, sits at Israel’s northern border and remains a serious conventional threat to Israel, especially now with Bashar al-Assad consolidating power and returning stability to Syria.

There’s also Israel itself. Under President Obama, U.S. relations with the Middle East’s only democracy reached a historic nadir. Obama’s shameful decision to secretly orchestrate and then abstain from vetoing a one-sided UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements will only embolden Israel’s enemies and further derail peace efforts in the region. The incoming Trump administration now confronts a double hurdle with Israel: repairing a key strategic partnership that fractured deeply under Obama, and returning both Israel and the Palestinians to meaningful negotiations over the two-state solution. The first hurdle is surmountable in the short term. The second is not. The damage has been done, and it will take the next four years (at least) to undo it.

Then there’s Syria, a place where the United States drew phantom red lines and stood by as the region’s two ascendant powers—Russia and Iran—made successful power plays, slaughtering thousands of Syrian civilians, including women and children, in the process. The civil war in Syria has triggered the worst global migration crisis since World War II, and its destabilizing effects will be felt across the world for years. Meanwhile, Iran has been relocating Iraqi Shiite families to Damascus neighborhoods abandoned by Sunnis during the fighting—a resettlement project that really is illegal but doesn’t even register on the UN’s radar.

Finally, the problem of radical Islam and the terrorism it spawns remain. Islamic State (ISIS) is perhaps the most visible and salient threat. Even as its short-lived, self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria shrinks, its terrorist tentacles are reaching across the world, as the recent attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt, the Christmas market in Berlin, and a nightclub in Istanbul soberly remind us. (…)

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Winter coat saved her life

AUSTRIA: Horror as Christian woman stabbed for reading the Bible in migration centre

Junge Frau liest in der Bibel [ (c), Erwin Wodicka, Siedlerzeile 3, A-4062 Thening, Tel. + 43 676 5103678.Verwendung nur gegen HONORAR, BELEG,URHEBERVERMERK und den AGBs auf](in an im auf aus als and beim mit einer einem eines * & der die das . ), 15-25 Jahre, 15-25 years, Frau, Jugend, Jugendliche, Jugendlichen, Jugendlicher, jung, junge, Mensch, Menschen, Person, Personen, Teen, Teenager, Teenagern, woman, women, young, young people, youth, Aktiv, Aktivitäten, Freizeit, Freizeitaktivität, Freizeitaktivitäten, hobbies, hobby, Lesen, spass, Tätigkeiten, Allgemeinbildung, Allgemeinwissen, Analphabeten, art of poety, author, Autor, Belesen, Belesenheit, Belletristik, Best-seller, Bestellerautor, Bestellern, Bestseller, Bestsellerautor, Bestsellerautoren, bestselling author, Bilden, block letters, book, book reader, books, bookworm, Buch, Bücher, Büchern, Bücherwurm, Buchleser, Buecher, Buechern, Buecherwurm, character front, comfortable, comfortably, compose, continuing education, creator, crime firm, criminal roman, Dichtkunst, Dichtung, Dinge, Druckschrift, Druckschriften, dyslexia, dyslexic, educate, educated, educatedly, excitement, full of suspense, Geblidet, Gedichte, Gemuetliches, Gemütliches, general education, general knowledge, Geschichten, guild, gutes, illiterate, images, inform, Information, Informationen, Informieren, know, knowledge of literature, Krimi, Kriminalroman, learning, learnings, Legasthenie, Legastheniker, Lektuere, Lektueren, Lektüre, Lektüren, Lesebuch, Lesebücher, Lesebuecher, Leseratte, Leseratten, Liest, Literatur, lyric, lyrical, lyrically, Lyrik, Lyrisches, paper, paper consuption, Papierverbrauch, pictures, pisa study, Pisa-Studie, pisa-study, Pisastudie, poem, poetry, Prosa, prose, publication, publications, Publikation, Publikationen, readers, reading, reads, Roman author, Romanautor, schreibenden, Schreiberei, Schreibzunft, Schriftstellerei, Schriststeller, Spannend, Spannendes, Spannung, Spare time,

HRWF (04.01.2017) – A Christian woman was stabbed by an asylum seeker after he heard her reading from the Bible. The 50-year-old woman was only saved by her winter coat when she was attacked with a knife in the accommodation in Timelkam in Voecklamarkt in Upper Austria.

Her alleged attacker is a 22-year-old man from Afghanistan who had taken offence to the fact that the woman had been invited by Christian residents of the property to discuss the bible.

When he found out what she was doing, he stormed into the kitchen where the woman was standing and tried to plunge the knife into her upper body. Luckily her thick winter coat protected her from serious injury, but she did injure her ear when she fell backwards from the force of the man’s violent blows.

He was ordered remanded in custody and taken to Wels Prison in Upper Austria. It is unclear if he has been charged yet.

The horror attack happened just days after a teenager was battered by a group of migrant men in the Austrian capital of Vienna.


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45-year old Mother-of-five in Solitary Confinement since 2010, ongoing Mass Killings of Christians

PAKISTAN: Asia Bibi to spend Christmas in a prison cell

By Martin Bashir, BBC


Islamabad/London, 22.12.2016 (BBC) – As churches around the country prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, with peace and goodwill toward men, spare a thought for those who must live out their faith in a foreign land. This will be the seventh consecutive Christmas mother-of-five Asia Bibi will spend in solitary confinement within the Islamic Republic of Pakistan – a country that has what the United Nations describes as “one of the worst situations in the world for religious freedom”.

A member of the Christian minority, just 1.6% of the population, 45-year-old Asia Bibi was jailed after being found guilty of breaching Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws.

Her case has provoked global protests, with supporters accusing the judiciary of fabricating the charge to persecute a Christian. There have been no fewer than three attempts at appealing against the verdict.

There’s also been a direct intervention by Pope Francis, who received a delegation of family and friends at the Vatican. But still she languishes in a small cell as the world awaits a final decision from the Supreme Court in Lahore.

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Measure would put France in the “global vanguard of religious discrimination” – An “outright attack on freedom of speech”

Press Release by FOREF Europe

French version / German version (PDF)

Kent Wang (Flickr)

Kent Wang (Flickr)

Paris/Vienna, 20.12.2016 (FOREF – Europe) – A bill adopted by the French Senate to criminalize the publication of anti-abortion information judged as “moral and psychological pressure” would egregiously violate the freedom of religion and the freedom of expression protected by the European Convention on Human Rights, and France’s basic international legal human rights obligations under United Nations treaties, according to the Forum for Religious Freedom – Europe (FOREF).

“France would be acting like a totalitarian secular theocracy if this measure became law, and in the global vanguard of religious discrimination,” according to Dr. Aaron Rhodes, the president of FOREF.

“The issue here is not whether abortion is good or bad, but whether the state has the right to restrict the dissemination of teachings about the question, and thus to police the moral outlook of citizens,” he added. “From a human rights perspective, it does not.”

The bill modifies the already existing article L2223-2 of the French Health Code which represses the act of impeding or trying to impede people from offering or obtaining information on abortion by exerting “moral and psychological pressure”, i. e. through demonstrations in front of hospitals.

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Participating States and Civil Society Representatives searching for methods to defend FoRB rights of Christians

OSCE Conference on Combating Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians

 Report by HRWF 


Vienna, 14.12.2016 (HRWF) – The conference on “Combating Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians” held under the German OSCE chairmanship on 14 December, 2016, in Vienna was a follow up to last year’s meeting on enhancing efforts to prevent discrimination against Christians. The security of Christian communities in the OSCE region and beyond is increasingly becoming a matter of great concern. The objectives of the three sessions of this conference were (a) to identify current patterns of intolerance and to discuss measures for ensuring the security of Christians and the protection of their places of worship, (b) to explore educational approaches aimed at promoting freedom of religion and belief (FoRB), and (c) to discuss governmental and legislative actions in line with principles of equality and non-discrimination in order to ensure that Christian communities can practice their belief without restriction or fear of violence.

Ambassador Eberhard Pohl, Permanent Representative of Germany to the OSCE and Chairperson of the OSCE Permanent Council, underlined in his opening remarks that the recent attacks against Coptic Christians in Egypt remind us that it is our collective responsibility to combat religious intolerance. Having a longstanding tradition of assisting civil society, ODIHR is offering a platform to discuss the concerns of Christians in the OSCE region, the Middle East and North Africa. Under the German chairmanship, the OSCE will continue to encourage participating states to effectively counter hate crimes and develop sustainable strategies against discrimination.

Introducing the program of the conference, Ms. Cristina Finch, Head of the Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Department of the OSCE/ODIHR, recalled that FoRB is a long-standing OSCE commitment dating back to the 1975 Helsinki Act. However, as the ODIHR’s annual hate crime report of 2015 has shown, arson attacks against places of worship or assaults on religious leaders increasingly cause concern. Twenty-two participating states have reported 120 violent attacks and 480 cases of hate crimes against Christians last year.

The keynote speech was delivered by Rev. Msgr. Dr. Antoine Camilleri, Under-

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