UN Geneva Event: International responses to religious incitement and hatred

You are cordially invited to attend a side event at 25th session of Human Rights Council in Geneva…

Attacks on free expression and religious freedoms are a matter of global concern. Blasphemy laws and overbroad criminal prohibitions on “incitement to hatred” are applied to silence minority groups and exclude them from debates, online and offline. Minority voices are denied the platforms to speak out and be heard in response, exacerbating tensions and creating risks to all human rights. Violence against these groups is often incited by influential public figures with total impunity.

The international community has provided a roadmap for responding to this phenomenon. The Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 and the Rabat Plan of Action both make clear the obligations of States in this field and their duty to act to protect the right to freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief.

What are States and other stakeholders doing to translate this road map into action on the ground? What more needs to be done?

Join us to discuss current developments and next steps.


Thursday, 13 March 2014

14.30 – 15.45


Room XXI (21), Palais des Nations, UN in Geneva


Heiner Bielefeldt, Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of religion or belief.

Mark Matthews, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative, Mission of the United Kingdom to the UN in Geneva.

Andrew Smith, Legal Officer, ARTICLE 19.

Moataz El Fegiery, Member of the Executive Committee, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network; Board Member, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies.

Dr Sejal Parmar, Assistant Professor of Law, Central European University (Moderator).

This event is organized through the Civic Space Initiative, a three-year project funding by the Government of Sweden that aims to protect and expand civic space by fostering an enabling legal environment for civil society organisations.

For more information, please contact Charlotte Gill: charlotte @ article19.org