Anti-mosque act, FOB report


Mrs. Anne Brasseur,
 President of the PACE

Mr. Mark Neville
, Head Private Office of the President

Mr. James Clappison,
 Chairman of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

Mr. Markus Adelsbach,
 Head of the Secretariat of the Bureau of the Assembly

Mr. Valeriu Ghiletchi,
 Chairman of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and sustainable development

Gisela Wurm,
 President of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination
Pedro Agramunt, 
President of the EPP Group
Andreas Gross, President of the Socialists Group
Alexei Pushkov, President of the EDG Group
Jordi Xucla, President of the ALDE Group
Tiny Cox, President of the UEL Group

Robert-Jan Uhl, Legislative support officer in ODIHR (OSCE)
De Jong Dennis, co-chair of the European Parliament Intergroup on FoRB and RT
Katharina Von Schnurbein, European Commission
Stephanos Stavros, secretary of the ECRI at the Council of Europe.
Heiner Bielefeldt, UN Special Rapporteur on FoRB.
Greg Mitchell, co-chair of the IRF Roundtable in WDC.
Marie-Claire Foblets, coordinator of the Religare Project

Dear …

FOB (European Federation for Freedom of Belief) expresses deep concern about the Italian Lombardy law on worship places aka “anti-mosque act”. FOB is a Federation of Associations - including Soteria International, European Coordination for Freedom of Conscience, LAYMS and AIDRL - that advocate freedom of thought, religion and belief, is independent from any party, and is ran by a Board of Directors elected by the Assembly.

The close examination elaborated by the vice-chairman, Dr. Alessandro Amicarelli, on behalf of FOB shows the picture of a regulation which, besides being conflicting with the Italian Constitution, violates also the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights and those included in the Guidelines of the FoRB programme issued by the Council of the EU, and that Italy is indeed called to respect. FOB also remarks that what has been underlined by the European Court of Human Rights on the occasion of several cases of disputes on the same subject is completely disregarded by the Lombardy law, opening further the possibility, in presence of all the prescribed requirements, of filing a complaint before the European Court in Strasbourg against the content of this piece of legislation.

The said legislation "Legge regionale n. 62/2015 in materia di costruzione di luoghi di culto" seriously discriminates all religious minorities, and intensifies their condition of disparity comparing to the Catholic Church: FOB hopes it will be withdrawn as soon as possible, in Lombardy as well as in Veneto where, in the weeks following to the approval of the Lombardy law, a similar bill has been introduced. FOB eventually reasserts the necessity to allow all Italians and all the people on the territory to enjoy same rights to freedom of religion and belief without discriminations that go even further their populistic origins and in fact the content of the law now affects all minority denominations, regardless they obtained or not an agreement with the Italian government.

Board of Directors FOB (Freedom of Belief )
European Federation for Freedom Of Belief

Rome 11 May, 2015