«Freedom of conscience is one of the most precious gifts offered to humankind. Freedom of conscience is not a negotiable liberty. The right to freedom of conscience must be the prerogative of all respectful societies, societies which respect citizen's believers, agnostics or atheists. Opposition and deprivation of freedom of conscience in the midst of a society is comparable to a crime against humanity»

Dr. Bruno Vertallier Former President of the AIDLR

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By Liviu Olteanu, PhD, Secretary General of the International Association for the Defense of Religious Liberty

H.E. Dr. AHMED SHAHEED, the United Nations SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR on FoRB, talked with the Secretary-General of the AIDLR, at the Palais des Nations, during the HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL, on a sensitive discriminatory issue based on religious liberty



4th March 2020, Geneva, Switzerland

On 4th March 2020, during the 43rd Session of the Human Rights Council, the Secretary-General of the AIDLR met with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief. The focus of their discussions was a discriminatory issue originating from within the European territory and having a religious liberty bias. The case involved a young lady following her master’s studies at a European university, and the query concerned the different recommendations and procedures suggested to solve this sensitive issue. The advice received from the UN HCHR FoRB office and mandate holder, based on UN reports and resolutions, demonstrated the wisdom and the expertise developed over the years by the FoRB mandate holders; these in turn were based on reports and documents prepared by the former Special Rapporteur, Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt, and the current Special Rapporteur, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, one of the most prestigious United Nations experts on religious freedom or belief. At the end of the consultation with the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, the Secretary-General of the AIDLR, shared a copy of the book that the AIDLR had recently published, entitled: ‘Dignity, Rights, Justice’. The book is the summary ‘Report and Recommendation to the UN Plan of Action on Hate Speech’, and is based on the Second Global Summit ‘Religion, Peace and Security’ held from 29 April to 1 May 2019 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. This summit was co-organized by ‘the UN Office of Genocide Prevention and Responsibility to Protect’ and ‘the International Association for the Defense of Religious Liberty’ (AIDLR).