15th Forum on Minority issues - Geneva
1st and 2nd of December 2022
Association Ma’onah for Human Rights and Immigration and Geneva International Centre for Justice
Delivered by Martin Browne / GICJ
On behalf of Association Ma’onah for Human Rights and Immigration, supported by Geneva International Centre for Justice.
Our organisation wants to express the deep concerns regarding the shrinking Civic Space for defenders of Muslim rights in France and across the French speaking world.
Over the last few years, the fight against terrorism has become a door growing wider and wider to permit states to exploit vague definitions to clamp down and shut down organisations that provide vital features of support to minority populations in France including those belonging to Muslim community is drastically worrying.
Numerous examples have been raised by colleagues just over the border.
Organisation that are a non-profit, non-political and non-religious specific organisation, including that that simply give legal and psychological support to victims of discrimination. Face threats from state bodies, state organs and orders by decree from the Interior ministry – notably not always subject to proper legislative or judicial scrutiny.
Justifications based on vague, unspecified references to concepts like assisting terrorism or disruption of public order. These assertions are very rarely specified, individualised to the specific context and lacking - no concrete evidence.
Yet again, in Western Europe it is minorities who suffer because of the instrumentalization of terrorism threat and security imperatives.
Looking constructively – we ask whether the Special Rapporteur or this Forum have specifically taken efforts to link their work with to improve accountability and justice for individual and groups in the counter-terrorism international framework. We hope greater scrutiny can help protect human rights defenders, vital organisations and stop the shrinking of civic space for those minorities helping each other.