U.S. Public Delegate
New York, New York
October 25, 2022
The United States thanks Special Rapporteur Shaheed for his superb work on advancing freedom of religion or belief, and we welcome Special Rapporteur Ghanea.
We support your efforts to promote respect for freedom of religion or belief for every individual, and we share your concern about increasing incidents of antisemitism, anti-Muslim discrimination, and attacks on Christians, Yezidi, members of religious minority groups, and individuals who choose not to ascribe to any particular faith.
We must promote accountability for all involved in violations and abuses of the right to freedom of religion or belief. Among them, we call on the PRC immediately to end its atrocities against Uyghurs who are predominantly Muslim and its mistreatment of Tibetan Buddhists and others.
We note with grave concern the increased pattern of repression and discrimination against Bahá’í community members in Iran and around the world. We uphold the right of all to freedom of religion or belief in Iran — the ability to practice their religion and associate as members of that community without harassment, discrimination, or fear. We further condemn the brutal crackdown, arrests, and killings of women and others peacefully protesting the mandatory religious headscarf.
We strongly support the recommendations in your report, many of which emphasize the importance of free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples, as appropriate, in relevant decision-making regarding the use of their spiritual, burial or ceremonial sites.
We ask, how can multilateral institutions better protect freedom of religion or belief for Indigenous persons when governments use security concerns to restrict Indigenous communities’ spiritual practices?