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Sunday, August 30, 2015, Bhadra 15, 1422 BS, Zilqad 14, 1436 Hijr

Freedom of belief: UN Special Rapporteur due Monday
Observer Online Desk
Published :Sunday, 30 August, 2015,  Time : 10:12 PM  View Count : 6
United Nations Special Rapporteur Heiner Bielefeldt arrives here on Monday to carry out an official visit to Bangladesh to assess the state of freedom of religion or belief in the country.

Following his nine-day visit till September 9, the Special Rapporteur will present a report with his conclusions and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in 2016.

“I am keen to learn more about the efforts to eliminate root causes of violence, intimidations and vigilantism in the name of religion and developments in promoting and protecting religious freedom, especially initiatives of inter-religious dialogues, following the first country visit by my predecessor in May 2000,” Bielefeldt said.

He said it will also be a timely opportunity for him to assess the freedom of religion or belief in relation to issues of gender, women, children, and in particular, religious minorities or indigenous communities, according to Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

The work of the Special Rapporteur, as mandated by the UN Human Rights Council, also requires him to identify existing and emerging obstacles to the enjoyment of the right to freedom of religion or belief and present specific recommendations to overcome them.

During stay here, Bielefeldt will meet with various government officials, representatives of religious or belief communities,
minority and indigenous representatives, civil society organizations and the UN.

The expert will share with the media his preliminary findings during a press conference September 9 at the Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka.


Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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