MINELRES: ECRI statement on the ban of minarets in Switzerland

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Tue Dec 8 07:50:51 2009


Original sender: ECRI <Combat.Racism@coe.int>


Statement by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance on
the ban of the construction of minarets in Switzerland

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) wishes to
express its deep concern about the results of the Swiss popular
initiative which approved the inclusion, in the Federal Constitution, of
a new provision banning the construction of minarets.

In its report on Switzerland published on 15 September 2009, ECRI
clearly regretted that “an initiative that infringes human rights can be
put to vote”.  ECRI added that  it “very much hoped that it would be
rejected”. 

The figure of 57,5% in favour of the ban, and the fact that the Federal
Council’s and other key Swiss stakeholders’ call to vote against went
unheeded, are difficult to reconcile with the efforts made to combat
prejudice and discrimination in the country over the last years. This
vote will result in discrimination against Muslims and infringe their
freedom of religion. As ECRI has warned in its report, this risks
creating further stigmatisation and racist prejudice against persons
belonging to the Muslim community.

ECRI calls on the Swiss authorities to study carefully the consequences
of this vote and do their utmost to find solutions that are in keeping
with international human rights law. In the meantime, ECRI emphasises
the urgent need for the Swiss authorities to follow-up on its
recommendation “to pursue their efforts and dialogue with Muslim
representatives”.


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