In framework of permanent co-operation with UN bodies our Association sent proposals to UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Professor Nazila Ghanea, for her report A/HRC/55/47, that examines the many forms such hatred takes, its differing legal implications, and how it burdens members of society, individually and collectively. ARC’s submission, prepared by Proffessor Borys Babin and published at UN web-sources now, reminded to Rapporteur that Russian de-facto “authorities” in the Crimea illegally use the Russia’s legislation on the “extremism”, ban some religious groups like “Jehovah’s Witnesses” and discriminate others like Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

Submission stressed that after start of Russia’s broad-scale invasion, Russia-controlled troops and mercenaries committed in Ukraine gross violation of international humanitarian and human rights’ law, including broad crimes against freedom of belief, and that since 2022 more hate speech was noticed in the occupied Crimea against Ukrainian Orthodox, Muslims and Jews, also anti-Semitic statements of illegal “officials” become stronger in 2023 there.

UN Special Rapporteur’s Report on A/HRC/55/47 stressed, that any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence should be prohibited by law. Report demanded from any unit and structures to prevent, mitigate and counter hate speech in traditional media and social media and ensure the right of reply to those, who are targeted in such hate speech on grounds of their religion or belief; Report also demanded to refrain from using messages of intolerance and expressions, that instrumentalize religions or beliefs or their followers to incite violence, hostility, discrimination, hatred or violence, for example for electoral purposes or political gain.

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