Human Rights, Anti-mosque Law and Anti Cult Squad challenged by FOB at the OSCE Meeting in Warsaw

Alessandro Amicarelli - OSCE 2015

1 October 2015 — “The Italian government shall clarify about the anti-mosque legislation passed by Lombardy and about the Anti Cult Squad of the State Police”, Alessandro Amicarelli, spokesman of FOB (European Federation for Freedom of Belief), has addressed with his statement the plenary assembly of OSCE/ODIHR at Warsaw (see the video).

If on one hand the criticisms about the workship places legislation pushed by the Northern League have caused reactions all around Europe due to the criminalisation of minority religions and Islam, on the other hand it’s the third consecutive year that the Italian government is officially demanded at the OSCE/ODHIR Meeting to issue clarifications in respect of this original unit of the Police, created in 2006 with a simple circular letter of the then Chief of the Police – three times in the recent past, members of the Italian Parliament have inquired about such Anti Cult Squad too.

In fact even though never the Anti Cult Squad has caught any single dangerous group through its investigations, it has caused instead a number of prejudices to people that have found themselves involved in undue proceedings; it has also provoked doubts in regards to its only expert, a Roman Catholic priest who is well known for his opinions about secularism and civil rights issues as well as for his involvement with anti cultic associations connected to the suspicious French organisation called FECRIS, which has transversally been accused against at international level on the ground of violating religious freedom.

FOB expresses concerns about the prompt response received from the representative of the Italian government, who while on one hand has not provided any reassurements about the “anti-mosque” legislation enforced in Lombardy, on the other hand instead has asserted the need of such Anti Cult Squad of the Italian Police because of the presence of unidentified “satanic cults”.

Since the case of the “Children of Satan” – all of them compensated with 100,000 Euros pro capite for undue detention – so far not a single case involving any “satanic cult” in Italy has never ended with criminally relevant findings in the courts : conversily a number of innocent people have been unduly detained and have been made subject of the public lies even though they had not committed any crimes; then provided the only one case (Beasts of Satan, 2004) that had some relevance from the point of view of criminal investigations, had no links with any religious or spiritual or sectarian dimension (such expression “sectarian” has been judged by the Council of Europe as both confusing and discriminatory and has consecutively advised States not to employ it), and being it also clear there are no real concerns about safety of the population, the question is : why should the taxpayers in Italy fund a unit of the Police that keeps under control some religious groups, and not others, on the basis of the classification of groups as cults remitted to ultraist priests and controversial organisations?