Articles

The freedom of belief and the imaginary crimes

by Nicola Colaianni
Former councilor of the Supreme Court of Cassation and full professor of ecclesiastic law, University of Bari

Freedom of conscience, religion and thought is the most fragile and vulnerable of all because it can be compressed and suppressed even subliminally, with messages and stimuli below the perception of the subjects. And the offense can come, not only from the public authorities, but also from the same communities in which individuals perform, in particular, their religious personality.

Flogging a dead horse: The return of anti-cultism in Italy

by Massimo Introvigne (thanks to www.neweurope.eu)

In 2018, two Italian journalists, Flavia Piccinni and Carmine Gazzanni, published a mediocre book called Nella setta (In the Cult). It included the usual laundry list of vituperations against the “cults.” The language was carefully chosen to de-humanise the members of religions the authors did not like. For instance, in one of the first chapters, the journalists described their visit to the Church of Scientology in Milan. The female Scientologist who welcomed them was described as having “alligator-like” eyes coupled with “horse-like” teeth.

Mattarella calls for constructive dialogue on human rights with China

President raises issue after meeting Chinese head of State

(ANSA) - Rome, March 22 - Italian President Sergio Mattarella raised the issue of human rights in a statement he made alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping after the two heads of State met in Rome on Friday. "In the light of Italy's mandate on the UN Human Rights Council, I would like to hope that constructive dialogue can continue on such important issues at the session of the EU-China dialogue on human rights that will take place in Brussels following the one last July in Beijing," Mattarella said.

U.S., China Clash on Human Rights Report

Annual U.S. Report on Human Rights singles out China as worst violator, denounces torture against Uyghurs, Falun Gong and The Church of Almighty God. China reacted in “unusually strong terms” after the U.S. Department of State unveiled on March 13 its yearly report on human rights, covering the year 2018. Introducing the report, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had denounced China as the worst country in the world for human rights. Although other countries were also mentioned, Pompeo insisted that China is “in a league of its own when it comes to human rights violations.”

Freedom of the Press

“Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as the truth is of systems of thought" – John Rawls

The lecture on the freedom of the press held a few years ago (here the transcript is published), intended and intends to underline the function of debunking cthat the "good" press (so it has been indicated) should do, or rather, must do. This intention of truth accompanies that freedom as its constitutive element which is often – if not very often – betrayed. The current experience of the "worst" journalistic communication is that of television programs of information or analysis which, with reference to belief or religious minorities, often betray the truth twice, given that they present themselves as a journalistic inquiry or article of debunking.

Hatred and religious intolerance: sign of the times or desired effects?

In these days the international press reports about tortures suffered in Russia by members of the congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. The Washington Post of March 2 speaks of “Russia’s persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses is reviving dark practices of the past”. The last two years have been really difficult for the Jehovah's Witnesses (even if the discriminatory acts against them date back to at least the 90s) since, implementing the controversial Yarovaya law, the Russian Supreme Court has labeled them "extremist organization".

The Concept of Spiritual Security and The Rights of Religious Minorities

In line with the ongoing project “Right to Truth” announced last 4 February in Florence at the end of presentation event for the book of proceedings of the FOB convention, Paris Human Right Attorney Patricia Duval, member of FOB Scientific Committee, wrote the following article for the prestigious magazine Coscienza e Libertà.

Dozens of Bitter Winter Reporters Arrested

Accused of espionage and subversion, at least 45 contributors are in custody; the reporter who filmed a secret camp in Xinjiang “disappeared” after the arrest. In August 2018, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities designated Bitter Winter a “foreign hostile website” for publishing secret documents and news reports about the CCP’s suppression of religious beliefs and human rights violations. The authorities have retaliated by launching repeated attempts to hack the website, and by targeting reporters and contributors.

Violated the Rights of Defense of Scientologists in Russia

We receive and publish the following two articles regarding Russia's authorities violations of the Rights of Defense of two Scientologists in Russia. Based on these informations FOB together with other NGOs has signed a paper expressing concerns about Rights of Defense violations in Russian Scientology Case.


November 18, Sunday, by Dmitry Marakulin

KOMMERSANT

Judgement Day for China in Geneva

Received from Bitter Winter and HRWF. FOB shares and endorses their efforts and projects to contrast Chinese religioius persection.


The Universal Periodic Review of the state of human rights in China at the United Nations saw several major countries publicly denounce the CCP and a major demonstration in front of the Palais des Nations, with Muslim Uyghurs, Tibetan Buddhists, members of The Church of Almighty God, and Bitter Winter, united in exposing the Chinese persecution of all religions.

Other boundaries

A lot is being talked about and heard about nowadays, concerning boundaries. The defense of Europe’s outer boundaries; the defense of Italy’s outer boundaries.

This necessity has become a sort of recurring item in the very moment when, practically everything, demonstrates the uselessness of the defense of any given outer boundaries.

William (Bill) C. Walsh, obituary

18 October 1948 - 22 september 2018

It is with deep sadness that we heard about the passing of William (Bill) Walsh BA, JD of Washington DC.

Partner at Bisceglie and Walsh Law Firm, Bill was an energetic and passionate International Human Rights attorney who dedicated over 40 years to human rights matters, representing clients nationally and internationally in the US, Europe and in the International courts too.

Will Germany delivier another victim to her persecutors on August 31?

In April, Germany deported back to China an Uyghur asylum seeker who “disappeared” after his repatriation. Now, Germany has apologized for the “mistake,” yet plans to deport on August 31 Sister Zhao of The Church of Almighty God, who will likely “disappear” as well.

German authorities have announced that on August 31 they will forcibly deport to China Sister Zhao, an asylum seeker currently detained in Ingelheim who resisted repatriation on July 9.

Lord Alton of Liverpool shows support to the complaints filed by FOB's president Alessandro Amicarelli

1 August 2018 – Lord Alton of Liverpool shows support in the UK Parliament to the complaints recently filed with the United Nations by FOB's president Alessandro Amicarelli in his capacity as human rights attorney on behalf of victims of religious persecution in China.

Bitter Winter event opens Religious Liberty Week on Capitol Hill, Washington

The President of the European Federation for Freedom of Belief (FOB) Attorney Alessandro (Alex) Amicarelli, participated to the opening event held at the American Senate that marked the beginning of the Religious Freedom Week organized by Secretary of State Mr Michael Pompeo in Washington. Together with CESNUR* director Prof. Massimo Introvigne and and Mrs Rosita Šorytė, Lithuanian diplomat and President of ORLIR**, Mr.

Half a Thousand Members of The Church of Almighty God Arrested

The religious freedom In China – if we dare to call it so – is granted only to some “State Churches” that are approved by the totalitarian Communist Party government. All the other religious communities are not admitted. Since 1995 the government issued and routinely update a list of so called Xie Jiao (literally that are considered illegal. The Chinese Criminal Code article # 300 foresees a jail penalty of 3 to 7 tears “or more” for the sole active membership to a religious movement included in the Xie Jiao list.