United Nations Human Rights Council, 33rd Session (13th – 30th September 2016)
General Debate: Item 8
Kacem El Ghazzali, IHEU Representative
This statement is supported by The Raif Badawi Foundation, Arab Humanists and Adhoc organization .
Over 20 years ago, the Vienna declaration set out the need for states to take “all appropriate measures to counter intolerance and violence based on religion and belief […] recognizing that every individual has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, expression and religion.” (more…)
Brussels, 22 May 2016
Since the start of the Arab Spring in 2011, divisions between different parts of society in the Middle Eastern and North Africa have become evident. The widest rift appears between those who want society to return to a perceived order from centuries ago, under the emblem of religion, and those who want to promote the establishment of open societies based on the principles of secularity, pluralism and modernity. At the same time, religious extremism has spread within some countries in the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. Its worst manifestation is the rise of Daesh and its acts of terrorism, intolerance and brutal violence, notably across Syria and Iraq, representing the culmination of a distorted and radical vision of Islam. (more…)
Letter addressed to UN Special Envoy for Syria, US Special Envoy for Syria and to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federation of Russia.
The Executive Committee of the Astana Initiative has worked to find a political solution in Syria. Given the current circumstances in Syria, we wish to draw your attention to the following points:
The Astana Conference was held twice in 2015 in the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan, from May 25 to 27 and from October 2 to 5. Both conferences have resulted in an agreement amongst opponents called “The Astana Initiative”, with a goal of facilitating the political process. (more…)
How come the air of this world has become so cruel, this world so full of sorrow and smell of shades of human body that is leaning on the death’s table? How can the heart bear all these volcanoes of decayed emotions, all these rivers of hatred, malignity and disgust? Why everywhere a taste of leads and gunpowder and not of sunflower? How can we bare that when we count the victims, the number of dead people has become more than the number of words? How can we write elegies when there is a graveyard behind every ode? (more…)