PRESSEMITTEILUNG – ÖSTERREICH: Werden Blasphemiegesetze aus der Mottenkiste geholt?

ÖSTERREICH: Werden Blasphemiegesetze aus der Mottenkiste geholt?

Europäischer Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte rechtfertigt Bestrafung einer Frau wegen Islamkritik

Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff spricht bei der American Freedom Alliance Konferenz in Los Angeles, USA

Wien, 29.10.2018 (FOREF) – Das Forum für Religionsfreiheit Europa (FOREF), ein unabhängiger Verein (NGO) mit Sitz in Wien, erhebt vehement Einspruch gegen die jüngste Entscheidung des Europäischen Gerichtshofes für Menschenrechte (EGMR). Der EGMR bestätigte das Urteil gegen Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, eine österreichische Staatsbürgerin, wegen einer Bemerkung über die Tatsache, dass der Prophet Mohammed eine Minderjährige ehelichte.

In einem Seminar zum Islam hatte die Beschuldigte darauf hingewiesen, dass der Prophet Mohammed pädophil gewesen sei, da er ein 6-jähriges Mädchen geheiratet hatte. Am 25. Oktober 2018 hat der EGMR das gegen die Frau von einem Wiener Gericht gefällte Urteil betreffs „abfällige Äußerungen zu religiösen Glaubensinhalten“ bestätigt. Das Wiener Gericht hatte 2011 befunden, dass die Meinung von Sabaditsch-Wolff nicht durch den Artikel 10 der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention geschützt sei. Provokante Bemerkungen über Glaubensinhalte und Gegenstände der Verehrung, „welche imstande sind die Gefühle der Anhänger einer Religion zu verletzen, können als böswilliger Verstoß gegen den Geist der Toleranz gewertet werden“, heißt es in der Begründung. Der Europäische Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte argumentiert, dass das österreichische Gericht „sorgfältig die Freiheit auf Meinungsäußerung seitens der Beschwerdeführerin mit den Rechten der anderen, welche ihre religiösen Gefühle geschützt sehen wollen, abgewogen hat.“ Das EGMR behauptete weiters, dass die Entscheidung mit der Absicht gefällt worden sei, den „religiösen Frieden“ in der österreichischen Gesellschaft zu bewahren.

FOREF wendet demgegenüber ein, dass es kein Menschenrecht darauf gibt, welches persönliche Gefühle vor gesprochenen Worten schützen würde. Vielmehr seien alle Mitglieder einer Gesellschaft dafür verantwortlich, umstrittene Sachverhalte in zivilisierter Weise zu diskutieren. „Das Ganze ist ein weiterer Übergriff auf das Gesetz, um die Freiheit über Fakten zu diskutieren und Meinungen auszudrücken, weiter einzuschränken“, kritisiert der renommierte Menschenrechtsexperte Dr. Aaron Rhodes. „Diese Entscheidung bedeutet, dass unsere Freiheiten beschnitten werden, und zwar aus Rücksicht auf jene, die mit gewaltsamen Reaktionen drohen. Aber es sind gerade diese Drohungen, die den gesellschaftlichen Frieden gefährden, und nicht irgendwelche Diskussionen über historische und moralische Streitpunkte,“ betont der Präsident von FOREF.

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Posted in Aaron Rhodes, Austria, blasphemy laws, Court Decisions, ECtHR, Europe, FOREF Europe, Hate Speech, Human Rights, Islam, Legislation, Muslims, Religion, Shariah | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PRESS-RELEASE: ECHR Upholds Ruling that Criminalizes Islam-Critique

AUSTRIA: Subjugating Free Speech to Blasphemy Laws?

ECHR Upholds Ruling that Criminalizes Islam-Critique

The European Court of Human Rights is an international court set up in 1959. It rules on individual or State applications alleging violations of the civil and political rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights.

Vienna, 29.10.2018 (FOREF) — The Forum for Religious Freedom Europe (FOREF Europe), an independent nongovernmental organization based in Vienna, today voiced its strong disagreement with the latest decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The ECHR upheld the conviction of an Austrian citizen for her remarks about the Prophet Mohammad’s marriage to a young child. Will this case move Europe one step closer towards subjugating free speech to blasphemy laws?

In seminars about Islam, the defendant had suggested that the Prophet Mohammad was a pedophile for having married a six-year old girl when he was 56 years old. On October 25, 2018, the ECHR  upheld Vienna Regional Criminal Court’s  decision (2011) on her conviction for “disparaging religious doctrines.” The local court ruled that the woman’s speech was not protected as freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Provocative remarks about religious doctrines or objects of worship “capable of hurting the feelings of the followers of that religion could be conceived as a malicious violation of the spirit of tolerance,” according to the ruling.The European Court concluded that the Austrian courts “carefully balanced the applicant’s right to freedom of expression with the rights of others to have their religious feelings protected.” It also claimed that the ruling was meant to preserve “religious peace” in Austrian society.

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Posted in Aaron Rhodes, Austria, ECtHR, Europe, Hate Speech, Human Rights, Islam, Legislation, Religious Freedom, Shariah | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

CHINA’S BLACKLIST OF FORBIDDEN RELIGIONS – The Chinese Communist Party’s War on Religious Liberty

The Black-Lists: The Evolution of China’s List of “Illegal and Evil Cults”

Xi Jinping

Edward A. Irons

The Hong Kong Institute for Culture, Commerce and Religion
edirons@aol.com

Bublished by CESNUR:
https://cesnur.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/tjoc_2_1_3_irons.pdf

ABSTRACT: In China, departments under the central government have published lists of banned and illegal religious groups since 1995. This practice can be seen as an extension of traditional ways of categorizing heterodox associations dating back to imperial times. Groups on the current list are often identified as xie jiao—normally translated as “evil cults.” The list is thus directly connected to questions of the categorization of religion in China. The study of the lists provides insight into the government’s evolving policy on religion, as well as the legal environment for religious activity.

Over the past quarter century, China has sporadically published lists of banned religious groups. These lists as they have been consolidated and published reflect the government’s evolved thinking on religious policy, and illuminate significant aspects of the contemporary religious scene in China while offering insights into the government’s official policy toward religion. The consolidated lists were published in 1995, 2000, again in 2014, and most recently in September of 2017. These published announcements constitute the “lists” proper. They are supplemented by a number of individual circulars that speak to a more limited number of the banned groups, which provide content that would be subsequently compiled into the longer lists.

A range of agencies are involved in these circulars, but the major lists are published by Public Safety, the State Council, both government agencies, and the General Office of the Central Committee, a department of the party. Recent lists appear under the aegis of the recently-established agency established to counter xie jiao groups, the Anti-Cult Association.

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Posted in CESNUR, China, Christians, Falun Gong, FoRB Violations, FOREF Europe, Human Rights, Peking, Religious Discrimination, Religious Freedom, Religious Intolerance, religious persecution, Torture, Unification Church | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

China’s Persecution of Christians Beyond it’s Borders

ANTI-REFUGEES “DEMONSTRATIONS” IN SOUTH KOREA:
THE REAL STORY

Producers of KBS – Korean National TV – interview Peter Zoehrer (FOREF Europe)

On September 2–4, 2018, Austrian journalist Peter Zoehrer was an eyewitness to false “spontaneous demonstrations” staged by the CCP and Korean anti-cultists against asylum seekers of The Church of Almighty God in Seoul. He tells the whole story to Bitter Winter.

Rosita Šorytė

Bitter Winter reported extensively about the false “spontaneous demonstrations” organized in South Korea between August 30 and September 4 by the Chinese Communist Party and Korean anti-cultists against the asylum seekers of The Church of Almighty God, a Chinese Christian new religious movement heavily persecuted in China.

We also reported that an Austrian journalist, Peter Zoehrer, was an eyewitness to the events. Zoehrer is also the secretary of FOREF (Forum for Religious Freedom Europe)and has uploaded on FOREF’s YouTube channel videos of the events. We have interviewed Zoehrer in Warsaw, where he was attending the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe).

You interviewed several members of The Church of Almighty God (CAG) about persecution and torture, what was your experience?

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Posted in Anti-Cult Movement, CESNUR, China, Christians, Commentaries and Interviews, Council of Europe, EU Special Envoy on FoRB, European Intergroup on FoRB & RT, FoRB Violations, FOREF Europe, HRWF, Human Rights, International Organizations, Interviews, Limitations of Religious Freedom, Peking, Persecution of Religious Groups, Religious Discrimination, Religious Freedom, religious persecution, Sects, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chinas grenzüberschreitende Christenverfolgung

ANTI-FLÜCHTLINGSDEMONSTRATIONEN IN SÜDKOREA:
DIE WAHRE GESCHICHTE

Team des Koreanisches Nationalen Fernsehens KBS und Peter Peter Zoehrer beim Interview

In der Zeit vom 2. – 4. September 2018 wurde der österreichische Journalist Peter Zoehrer Augenzeuge der falschen, von der KPCh und koreanischen Anti-Sekten-Aktivisten inszenierten “Spontandemonstrationen“ gegen asylsuchende Angehörige der Kirche des Allmächtigen Gottes in Seoul. Er übermittelte Bitter Winter einen vollständigen Bericht der Ereignisse.

Rosita Šorytė

Bitter Winter berichtete ausführlich über die falschen “Spontandemonstrationen“gegen asylsuchende Angehörige der Kirche des Allmächtigen Gottes (einer neuen christlich-religiösen Bewegung in China, die dort unter starker Verfolgung leidet), die zwischen dem 30. August und dem 4. September von der Kommunistischen Partei Chinas und koreanischen Anti-Sekten-Aktivisten in Südkorea organisiert worden waren.

Wir berichteten ebenfalls, dass der österreichische Journalist Peter Zoehrer Augenzeuge der Ereignisse wurde. Zoehrer, der auch Schriftführer von FOREF (Forum Religionsfreiheit Europa) ist, hat Videos von den Ereignissen auf den YouTube-Kanal von FOREF gestellt. Wir haben Zoehrer in Warschau interviewt, wo er am Human Dimension Implementation Meeting der OSZE (Organisation für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa) teilnahm.

Sie haben mit mehreren Mitgliedern der Kirche des Allmächtigen Gottes (KAG) über Verfolgung und Folter gesprochen – was haben Sie erfahren?

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Posted in Anti-Cult Movement, CESNUR, China, Christians, Commentaries and Interviews, Europe, FoRB Violations, FOREF Europe, HRWF, Human Rights, Interviews, Peking, Persecution of Religious Groups, Religion, Religious Discrimination, Religious Freedom, Religious Intolerance, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

US Statement on Religious Freedom – OSCE / ODIHR in Warsaw (Annual Meeting, 2018)

Working Session 7: Fundamental freedoms 1, including: Freedom of thought, conscience, religion, or belief

Pastor Andrew Brunson (center), who has been under house arresting Turkey since July following his prolonged and unjust detention on baseless terrorism charges.

As prepared for delivery by Ambassador Sam BrownbackAmbassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom,
Warsaw, September 13, 2018

https://osce.usmission.gov/hdim-working-session-7-fundamental-freedoms-1/

Promoting and defending international religious freedom is a fundamental issue for the United States. This July, U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo hosted the first Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. Following the Ministerial, the United States issued the Potomac Declaration and the Potomac Plan of Action. The Declaration reaffirms the fundamental freedom of religion or belief. The Plan of Action provides concrete ways to defend it. Separately, we thank Armenia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo, Lithuania, Poland, and the United Kingdom for signing on to one or more of the statements of concern issued at the Ministerial, including on “Counterterrorism as a False Pretext for Religious Freedom Repression,” “Religious Freedom Repression by Non-State Actors, including Terrorist Groups,” and “Blasphemy/Apostasy Laws.” The statements remain open for endorsement, and we invite all countries to join.

During the Ministerial, the United States highlighted one country for its recent progress: Uzbekistan. President Mirziyoyev and his government have taken significant positive steps including: easing registration requirements for religious organizations; registering the Presbyterian church “Light of the World”; permitting children to attend mosques; removing 23,000 names from a list of so-called “extremists”; releasing hundreds of prisoners held for their religious beliefs; and passing a “road map” to implement the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

Uzbekistan has more to do to institutionalize these reforms and protect religious freedom for all, consistent with Uzbekistan’s international obligations and commitments. We encourage Uzbekistan to work with the OSCE, the UN Special Rapporteur for Religion or Belief, and other international experts as it drafts new laws and pursues new policies. We urge the government to release the remaining prisoners arrested for practicing their religion. We also urge authorities to cease violating the rights of individuals to freely and peacefully gather and express their religious views publicly. The government should continue to honor its public statements to register peaceful religious congregations without a cumbersome, multi-tier bureaucratic practice.

Unfortunately, a number of OSCE participating states are not taking actions to promote religious freedom; instead they are violating this human right. The Russian Federation continues to cloak its restrictive laws and legal rulings in trappings of combating so-called “extremism”. Russian law enforcement agencies have escalated targeted raids, detentions, arrests, criminal prosecutions, and imprisonments of Jehovah’s Witnesses on absurd “extremism” grounds. Other members of peaceful religious groups, including some Muslims, have similarly been targeted as “extremists.” According to credible NGO accounts, Russia currently imprisons over 130 people for their peaceful religious practice.

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Posted in Christians, FoRB Violations, Islamic Countries, Jehovah's Witnesses, Kazakhstan, OSCE, Putin, Religious Discrimination, Religious Freedom, religious persecution, Russia, Turkey, Uncategorized, USA | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

OSCE / HDIM Warsaw: Russia’s Persecution of the Jehovah Witnesses – Joined Statement by HRWF & FOREF Europe

Russia’s ongoing Persecution of the Jehovah Witnesses

Willy Fautre, Director of Human Rights Without Frontiers delivers a joint statement by HRWF & FOREF Europe on the Persecution of Jehovahs Witnesses in Russia

 

Joined Statement by HRWF & FOREF Europe at the OSCE / Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Warsaw, 13.09.2018


Chairman,

In the Russian Federation, peaceful and law-abiding Jehovah’s Witnesses are being violently detained by security forces who physically and verbally ill-treat them as if they are terrorists based on the government’s assertion that their books and teachings “undermine confidence in Christian teachings.” They are treated as violent, dangerous criminals, as members of an “extremist” organization.

We know of 54 prosecutions under Administrative Code Article 20.29 in 2017, resulting in 49 convictions, and the confiscation and destruction of literature. We know of 23 members of the faith who are incarcerated, all based on an April 2017 Supreme Court Ruling that banned all Jehovah’s Witness groups.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are under surveillance by wiretapping and videotaping.

More than 200 Jehovah’s Witnesses have asked for asylum in Finland, fleeing police raids, criminal prosecution, and beatings.

Russia’s Presidential Council on Human Rights has questioned the legality and validity of the criminal prosecutions of Jehovah’s Witnesses, stating that “There is a clear contradiction between the stated position of the Government of the Russian Federation and law enforcement practice. This is a cause for concern, as criminal prosecutions and arrests have become endemic.”

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Posted in Aaron Rhodes, FoRB Violations, FOREF Europe, HRWF, Jehovah's Witnesses, OSCE, Religious Discrimination, Religious Intolerance, Russia | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment