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Country visit of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief to the Republic of Moldova / BM din ve inanç özgürlüğü Özel Raportörü Moldova Cumhuriyeti’ni ziyaret etti

Press statement /Basın Açıklaması, Chisinau, 8.09.2011

Aşağıda Türkçe Özet Bulunabilir.

“From 1 to 8 September 2011, I have undertaken a country visit to the Republic of Moldova, including its Transnistrian region, in my capacity as United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. The purpose of this visit was to identify both good practices as well as existing or emerging obstacles to the full enjoyment of freedom of religion or belief. First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Moldova for having invited me, as part of a standing invitation to all Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council. I am also very grateful for the excellent professional support provided by the UN Country Team in Moldova, in particular its human rights adviser, throughout the visit.

During my visit, I met with high ranking representatives of the national Government, members of Parliament, representatives of the Judiciary, the Parliamentary Advocates (ombuds institution), local authorities, representatives of various religious communities, journalists and civil society organizations specialized on human rights. The discussions took place not only in Chişinãu, but also in different cities such as Balti, Orhei and Tiraspol. I appreciate the generally open atmosphere and the opportunity of having lively exchanges. Listening to the information, expertise and experience provided by the various interlocutors was an enormous learning experience and I am grateful for their precious input….

General impressions

Interlocutors from different backgrounds agreed that the situation of freedom of religion or belief has improved in recent years. While remembering the harsh repression and persecution during the Soviet era, members of religious communities appreciated that today they can generally practice their religion or belief freely and without fear of undue Government interference.

However, there are still important challenges ahead to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights for all on the basis of non-discrimination and equality. I trust that this task can be tackled successfully given the many encouraging manifestations of human rights commitment by the Government and civil society….

Specific issues

1. Legal framework

In general terms, the national legal framework of Moldova provides for a broad protection of freedom of religion or belief. The 1994 Constitution guarantees freedom of religion or belief (article 31) as well as other human rights, such as equality before the law. In the same article the Republic of Moldova lays down its self-understanding as a secular state. Respect for human rights is further corroborated by Moldova’s ratification of international and regional human rights instruments. In situations of conflict or in cases of inconsistency between national and international provisions of human rights, the Constitution explicitly gives priority to international law. The 2007 Law on Religious Denominations and their Component Parts reiterates the commitment to freedom of religion or belief which is spelled out with a wider scope than in the Constitution. In this context it is clarified that freedom of religion or belief includes, inter alia, the right to change one’s religion or belief and to profess and manifest one’s religious convictions in private and in public, alone and in community with others as well as the right not to profess a religion or a belief. The 2007 Law again gives priority to international human rights norms in any cases of conflict or inconsistency….

2. Privileged status of the Orthodox Church

According to the Constitution, the Republic of Moldova is a secular State guaranteeing freedom of religion or belief for everyone. At the same time, however, the 2007 Law on Religious Denominations and their Component Parts explicitly acknowledges “the special importance and leading role of the Orthodox Christian religion and, respectively, of the Moldovan Orthodox Church in the life, history and culture of the Republic of Moldova” (article 15.5). To be sure, the importance of Orthodox Christianity in the past and present of the country is a well-established historical fact which in principle no one would deny. From the perspective of human rights, however, the problem is that the formal appreciation of Orthodoxy in a legal document can easily be seen as justifying a privileged treatment of one religious tradition at the expense of the principles of equality and non-discrimination.

More.

Özet

Birleşmiş Milletler Din ve İnanç Özgürlüğü Özel Raportörü Prof. Heiner Bielefeldt 1-8 Eylül 2011 tarihleri arasında Moldova Cumhuriyeti’ni ziyaret etti. Ziyareti sırasında devlet kurumları, sivil toplum kuruluşları ve dini gruplarla görüşen Raportör ilk izlenimleriyle ilgili bir basın toplantısı düzenledi. Moldova Anayasası din ve inanç özgürlüğünü genel olarak korusu da özellikle Ortodoks Kilisesi’ne verilen ayrıcalıklı konumun din ve inanç özgürlüğünü olumsuz bir şekilde etkileyen önemli bir unsur. Dinsel azınlıklar özel alanlarında dini uygulamalarını gerçekleştirirken  sorun yaşamazken, kamusal alanda yapacakları ibadetler veya törenler konusunda ciddi sıkıntılar yaşıyorlar. Özellikle bazı kırsal yerlerde bu gibi etkinlikler konusunda yetkililerin önce Ortodoks Kilisesi’ne danışmadan bu izinleri vermedikleri rapor ediliyor. Moldova’da eğitim laik ve zorunlu din dersi içermiyor. Askerlik hizmetine vicdani redçiler ise alternatif hizmet yapabiliyorlar. Özel Raportör farklı dinlere mensup gruplar arasında iletişimin ve anlayışın geliştirilebileceği alanlar olduğuna işaret ediyor.

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