Church of Scientology paper submitted to OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting

OSCE is the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. The Organization comprises 56 participating States that span the globe, encompassing three continents – North America, Europe and Asia – and more than a billion people. It offers a forum for political negotiations and decision-making in the fields of early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation, and puts the political will of its participating States into practice through its unique network of field missions.

The Church of Scientology submitted a report on France to the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting September/October 2012.

It begins:

Despite many recommendations by international human rights bodies, French policy against religious minorities has not improved. Instead, it has gone a step further back since the last  Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in 2011. The Church of Scientology provides the  following report regarding the French policy regarding treatment of religious minorities in  France – a policy that must be changed for France to comply with the Helsinki Accords and  international human rights standards regarding religious freedom and nondiscrimination on religious grounds.

Stigmatizing Repository of Records Created by MIVILUDES

For years, the French government has determined to arbitrarily classify religious groups into two separate categories: 1) religions viewed as law-abiding and beneficial to society; and 2)  “sects” viewed as dangerous to society, which are the targets of oppressive and discriminatory  measures, and which the government declares must be “fought” against.  This type of classification has resulted in the stigmatizing and blacklisting of 173 religious or  philosophical groups as “sects” in a report established by a Parliamentary Commission on  December 20, 1995. By a Decree of 27 May 2005, Prime Minister Mr. Raffarin instructed Ministers and Government officials to stop stigmatizing minority religious movements by  using such blacklists.
However, in May 2009, the President of the Inter-ministerial Mission of Vigilance and Fight against Sectarian Deviances (MIVILUDES), Mr. Georges Fenech, announced that a repository of records had been created on approximately 600 movements he had characterized as “sectarian”. The record repository has been established, according to his statements to the media, on the sole basis of denouncements or complaints against minority belief movements.

After opposition by the Minister of Interior who expressed concern that the accusatory records would stigmatize minority faiths, MIVILUDES decided to not make these records public. Yet, these records have been made available by MIVILUDES to Judges, Prosecutors, personnel dealing with Youth and Family matters, Ministries and other officials. They have also been made available to public authorities and local officials who make decisions that affect the

rights of these groups, such as decisions authorizing or denying the renting of conference halls
or nursing licences to members of minority groups.

In the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief following her official visit to France on 18-29 September 2005, French authorities were urged to no longer refer to or use the list of “sects” published by Parliament in 1996.

The full text of the presentation is available here>>

 


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