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UN Rights Council Condemns Defamation Of Religion

UN Human Rights Council in session in August (epa) March 30, 2007 -- The UN Human Rights Council has adopted a nonbinding resolution urging a global prohibition on the public defamation of religion.

The document was opposed by European and several other non-Muslim countries, who cited the resolution's excessive focus on Islam and incompatibility with fundamental rights such as freedom of speech and thought.

The resolution makes no mention of any other religion besides Islam.

There are 17 Muslim countries on the 47-nation council, which replaced the discredited UN Human Rights Commission. The council has no power beyond drawing attention to rights issues.

Discussion of the resolution started last year after protests across the Islamic world drew attention to caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad first printed in a Danish newspaper.


UN Human Rights Council

UN Human Rights Council

UN General Assembly delegates applaud the creation of the UN Human Rights Council on March 15, 2006 (epa)

A FRESH START ON HUMAN RIGHTS: The United Nations General Assembly on May 9 elected members to its new Human Rights Council, a step that reformers hope will help improve the United Nations' sullied record on defending human rights. The UN's old human rights watchdog -- the Commission on Human Rights -- had long been criticized for granting membership to countries with dismal human rights records, such as Cuba, Sudan and Zimbabwe.
Every member of the new body has to pledge to promote human rights. (more)


General Assembly Votes To Create New Rights Council
Vote On Human Rights Council In Limbo Over U.S. Objections
At 60, UN Gripped By Debate on Human Rights Reform


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