The role played by law-enforcement agencies in protecting freedom of religion or belief was the focus of a seminar organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the OSCE Centre in Bishkek and partners in Kyrgyzstan’s capital on 4 and 5 June 2012.
During the seminar, participants from law enforcement agencies, including the Ministry of Interior of Kyrgyzstan, and officials from the State Committee for Religious Affairs discussed international human rights standards on freedom of religion or belief and their application in Kyrgyzstan. Participants also noted challenges related to extremism and terrorism and their impact on this freedom.
“Law enforcement agencies are at the frontline of protecting the public on a daily basis and ensuring that international obligations on freedom of religion or belief are fully implemented at the national level,” said Robert-Jan Uhl, ODIHR’s Advisor on Freedom of Religion or Belief. “The seminar was an opportunity for participants to discuss in an open and interactive setting some of the challenges that the authorities face in this area."
Members of ODIHR’s Advisory Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or Belief also provided examples of good practices to help ensure minimum standards in this area across the OSCE region.
The event was organized in co-operation with the State Committee for Religious Affairs, the Ministry of Interior of Kyrgyzstan and the UN/OHCHR Regional Office for Central Asia, within the framework of the EU-funded project “Civil Monitoring for Human Rights’ Protection and Conflict Prevention”.