The Escalation of Discrimination Against Bahais is an Abhorrent Act of Racism

April 2nd, 2009 by Editor

EOHR urges the Attorney-General to investigate the burning of Bahai houses immediately and calls for the government to fully protect and guarantee their rights.

 

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR ) condemns the burning of three Bahai houses in the village of Al-Shawraneya in Sohag governorate, and appeals to the Attorney-General to investigate the incident immediately as it violates basic rights guaranteed by the constitution and international human rights covenants.

 

EOHR stresses that the incident is “an abhorrent act of racism” which is being practiced against religious minorities and raises sectarian tensions. For this reason, EOHR demands the following:

 

 1- The immediate intervention of the state and all its organs, in particular security bodies, to provide for their protection and that of their families in accordance with international covenants on human rights, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states in Article II that:

 

“Everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms set forth in this declaration, without any kind of discrimination such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political opinion or any other reason.”

 

Article II of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that:

 

“Each state involved in this Covenant should respect the rights recognized therein and to guarantee these rights to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction without any kind of discrimination as to race, color, sex, language, religion … etc.”

 

Article 46 of the Egyptian Constitution states that “the state guarantees freedom of religion and freedom of religious practices“. Furthermore, paragraph I of article II of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Racial Discrimination of 1956, which was ratified by the Egyptian government in 1967 and entered into force in 1969 provides that:

 

State parties condemn racial discrimination and undertake with all possible means without delay a policy of eliminating racial discrimination in all its forms and to promote understanding among all races“.

 

Article 5 states that:  

 

States parties should undertake the prohibition and elimination of racial discrimination and guarantee the rights of everyone without distinction as to race, color, national or ethnic origin with equality before the law, notably in the enjoyment of the following rights:

 

(a) The right to equal treatment before all courts and all other organs concerned with justice.

(b) The right to personal security and the protection of the state against violence or abuse, whether committed by government officials or any group or institution”.

 

 The same article guarantees political, economic, social and cultural rights of individuals without discrimination.

 

2- Immediate investigation into the incident and detection of offenders to the public opinion with the result of bringing them to trial.

 

3- To stop those who seek to heighten sectarian tensions in Egyptian society due to the serious implications of the consequences on the status of religious minorities in Egypt.

 

4- Civil society should organize collective campaigns and support to the religious minorities in Egypt to shed light on violations against them.

 

In light of Egypt joining The International Council for Human Rights and its commitments, and the coming international Durban Review Conference organized by the UN in Geneva on 20-24 April 2009, we see that these attitudes and practices towards religious minorities should be addressed by the government and put a stop to. The government should provide full protection for the Bahai Egyptian citizens, allowing them to enjoy civil, political and economic rights in accordance with international charters and conventions on the elimination of racial discrimination. Those responsible for burning the houses should be transferred to the prosecution immediately.     

 

  

     

 

 

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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 at 2:27 pm and is filed under Statements. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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