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News in the press : Jehovah's Witnesses, right of worship and secularism

JW.ORG - News Updates and Legal Developments

Eurel - Sociological and legal data on religions in Europe

  • 14 November – Montenegro - Combating violent extremism in Montenegro
  • In addition to the Strategy for the Suppression of Violent Extremism 2016-2018, the Government of Montenegro will consider the idea of a new platform against this phenomenon, which would bring together experts from the public, private, non-governmental, scientific, and civil sectors. This was (...)
  • 14 November – Montenegro - Restitution of property rights to religious communities on the governmental agenda
  • The government of Montenegro announced the drafting of a Law on the Restitution of Property Rights to Religious Communities. In the information on the process of drafting the National Report on the State of Human Rights in Montenegro within the third cycle of the United Nations general (...)
  • 14 November – Montenegro - Inspection of illegal islamic schools at the North of Montenegro
  • October 2017 The head of the Islamic Community in Montenegro Rifat Fejzic called competent authorities to inspect some Islamic schools in the north of the country, since they have been illegally set up by an Islamic Community in Serbia (with the seat in Novi Pazar, close to the border with (...)
  • 14 November – Greece - Gender Identity Bill
  • The Greek Parliament voted on legal gender recognition. In particular, the government bill allows people to change their gender identity on all official documents without requiring a psychiatric diagnosis or a medical intervention for its recognition. Moreover, following many EU member states, (...)
  • 14 November – Greece - The future Constitutional Reform
  • 27 mars 2017 The Government published its proposals on the Constitutional reform. As regards religion, it proposes the ‘distinctiveness between state and church, in full respect of the Orthodox Church and its historical role.' Accordingly, it upholds the express protection of the state's (...)
  • 14 November – Greece - Creation of private facilities for cremation
  • 3 mars 2017 Cremation is legal in Greece since February 2016. However, the strong opposition of Greek Orthodox Church has hindered its implementation for the past two years. The Minister of Interior P. Skourletis announced in Parliament the Government's decision to establish a legal framework, (...)
  • 7 November – Turkey - Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş is appointed as the new President of Diyanet
  • On June 31 2017, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Görmez, a Turkish cleric who headed the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), a government department that runs more than 85,000 mosques, bid farewell to his post he had occupied since 2010. Görmez's term didn't end until 2020. After Görmez, Prof. Dr. Ali (...)

Human Rights Without Frontiers International

  • 16 November – UN condemns Iran’s human rights violations for 30th time
  • Baha’I World News Service (14.11.2017) – – A committee of the United Nations General Assembly today condemned Iran for its continuing violations of human rights, the 30th such resolution since 1985. By a vote of 83 to 30 with 68 abstentions, the Third Committee of the General (...)
  • 16 November – RUSSIA: Supreme Court threatens parental rights of, for example, Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • Supreme Court recommends depriving parents who involve children in sects of their rights RIA Novosti (14.11.2017) – | – The Russian Supreme Court confirmed a recommendation to abridge the parental rights of people who involve children in sects, (...)
  • 15 November – EGYPT: Shubra al-Kheima church cancels prayers after threats
  • By Al-Masry Al-Youm Egypt Independent (11.11.2017) – – The Shubra al-Kheima church administration, or diocese, decided on Friday to cancel prayers at Pope Kirolos church and Archidiacon Habib Gerges after having received threats to ban prayers in it. In response, dozens of (...)
  • 15 November – Turkish marriage law a blow to women’s rights, say activists
  • Bill allowing Muslim clerics to conduct civil marriages passed despite protests amid fears it could lead to more child brides By Kareem Shaheen and Gokce Saracoglu The Guardian (14.11.2017) – – Activists and opposition politicians in Turkey have rounded on a law that allows (...)
  • 15 November – Nine-year-old girls in Iraq could be forced to marry under new Muslim laws
  • The bill includes provisions that would legalise marital rape and child marriage and ban Muslims from marrying non-Muslims. By Isabelle Gerretsen International Business Times (14.11.2017) – – Human rights activists are warning that a new Iraqi law could legalise marriage for (...)
  • 14 November – PAKISTAN: UPR SIDE-EVENT Highlights the Ongoing and Systematic Persecution of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan
  • Press Release CAP Liberté de Conscience (13.11.2017) – – On 13 November, the Coordination of Associations and Individuals for Freedom of Conscience, (CAP) held a side event at the Palais des Nations alongside Pakistan’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by the United Nations (...)
  • 14 November – France to reassess child sex laws after controversial cases
  • BBC (13.11.2017) – – France is to consider a change to its laws around sexual consent, according to the minister for gender equality. Marlene Schiappa said the government was considering setting a fixed age below which sex was automatically a serious offence. It comes after (...)

Forum 18 News Service

  • 17 November – Kazakhstan: Six more arrests for sharing faith
  • Six Sunni Muslims arrested in Karaganda are under criminal investigation for alleged membership of a Muslim missionary movement. Three of them are in pre-trial detention. All known criminal cases against conscientious objectors have been (...)
  • 7 November – Russia: Muslim prisoner of conscience tortured
  • In Russia's prisons one Muslim prisoner of conscience has recently been tortured, and Muslims and Jehovah's Witnesses have both been denied literature. Other Muslims and Jehovah's Witnesses continue to be on trial and face investigations for allegedly organising or participating in (...)
  • 3 November – Kazakhstan: UN call for prisoner of conscience's release
  • A Baptist has been given a criminal conviction for refusal to pay a fine for - as the Constitution allows - handing out religious literature on the street. And the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has called for a prisoner of conscience's "immediate" (...)
  • 1 November – Turkey: What do parents and pupils think?
  • A group of NGOs have surveyed what Turkish parents and secondary school pupils think about the government's education policies in relation to freedom of religion and belief. Some welcome state actions, but others feel coerced into religious instruction and practices they disagree (...)
  • 27 October – Uzbekistan: Book banning, censorship, illegal fines, reprisals
  • A Muslim hairdresser and one of his regular customers with his family is being intensively investigated by Uzbekistan's Anti-Terrorism Police for sharing a Muslim book electronically. Several Protestants also have been fined - two illegally threatened - for keeping Christian material in (...)