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Archive for September, 2012

OIC Delegation Concludes Its Visit Of Observation In Myanmar

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on September 19, 2012



17/09/2012 | The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu dispatched a high level delegation led by Ambassador Ufuk Gokcen, OIC Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York, to Myanmar following the eruption of violence against the Muslim Rohinga community and taking into consideration their long-standing plight. In doing so, the Secretary General was guided by the directives of the 4th Extraordinary Islamic Summit held in Makkah Al Mukarrama on 14-15 August, 2012.

The mandate of the mission that took place from 5-15 Sept 2012 was to:
a) To make preliminary observations as to the root causes of the problem and the effect of the violence that took place in the Rakhine State.
b) Explore the conditions and various aspects of a prospective visit by the OIC Secretary General.
c) To make the necessary contacts regarding the ways and means for the OIC to carry out humanitarian assistance and relief operations in the Rakhine State.

The delegation had extensive contacts with the Union and Rakhine State authorities regarding the ways and means for the OIC and Myanmar Government to create a long-term engagement and cooperation in order to encourage taking constructive steps towards rehabilitation and inter-communal reconciliation.

The OIC delegation was received in the capital city Nay Pyi Taw by the Union Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Borders Affairs and Interior and Social Affairs and in Sitwee met with the Union Minister of Borders Affairs once more in the presence of the Chief Minister of Rakhine State. The delegation had extensive discussions with regard to the concerns of OIC member states with a view to facilitate bringing sustainable and permanent solutions to the current issues in the context of democratization, reform and development process already underway in the country. Ensuring rule of law, inter- communal cohabitation and enjoyment of basic welfare and fundamental human rights by all groups and respect for cultural, ethnic and religious identities and values in the Rakhine State were highlighted by the OIC delegation as the basic expectations of OIC member states.

The OIC delegation signed on 11th September 2012 in Nay Pyi Taw, a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with the Ministry of Borders Affairs to implement a humanitarian program for the benefit of all communities living in the State of Rakhine. Within the framework of the MoC, the OIC will establish a coordination and monitoring presence in Yangon and Sitwee under the assistance of the Union and local authorities to conduct humanitarian activities.

The OIC delegation also briefed the Ambassadors of the OIC Member States and met with Mr. Vijay Nambiar, the Special Advisor of the UNSG for Myanmar as well as representatives of some international governmental and non-governmental agencies.

The proceedings outlined above will allow for productive cooperation between the Government of the Union of Myanmar and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation for which we thank the Myanmar authorities. Yet the problem ought not to be dealt with solely from a humanitarian aspect.

Members of the OIC delegation left Yangon on 15th September 2012.

Source: OIC 




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OIC Human Rights Commission finalizes its Rules of Procedure The Commission focused on Human Rights in Palestine, Syria, Mali and of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on September 10, 2012

30/08/2012 | OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) concluded its Second Session in Ankara today, Friday, 31 August 2012. The 5-day Session was chaired by Ms. Siti Ruhani Dzuhayatin. The Commission, most importantly, finalized rules of procedure in accordance with the timeline stipulated by the Statute and in time for onward transmission to OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) for endorsement.

The Commission focused on the human rights aspects of situations in Palestine, Syria, Mali and that of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. The Commission strongly condemned the continuing human rights violations perpetrated by Israel, being the occupying power, in Palestine and other Arab territories, with particular reference to the policy of settlements in terms of its implications towards the whole range of human rights of the Palestinian people as well as international efforts towards durable peace in the Middle East.

The Commission expressed serious and grave concern at the reported human rights violations, committed by both sides in the ongoing crisis in Syria, the Commission emphasized the primarily responsibility of the state to maintain law and order and called for a humanitarian pause in the armed conflict with a view to making a needs assessment. The Commission expressed grave concern at the reported human rights violations against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. The Commission also decided to send a fact-finding mission for an on ground assessment of the situation of Rohingya Muslims and requested the Chairperson to contact the government of Myanmar to that end. The Commission expressed concern at human rights violations perpetrated by terrorist groups against unarmed civilians in Mali and the destruction of sites classified by UNESCO as world cultural heritage. The Commission emphasized the importance and need for concerted efforts by the international community towards finding political solutions to the situations in Syria, Mali and that of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar with particular reference to an early repatriation of refugees in the neighboring countries.

In terms of the priorities identified at the First Session in Jakarta, the Commission focused on rights of Women and the Child as well as Right to Development (RtD) and set up a working group to come up with approaches towards addressing these rights with a view to providing advisory opinion for the benefit of the Member States. The Commission also set up a working group with a view to advising the Member States on ways and means to combat Islamophobia and incitement to hatred and violence on religious grounds, within the human rights framework. The Commission emphasized the importance of research and studies on themes of human rights significance with a view to furnishing informed advisory to Member States.

The 18 member Commission constitutes the first body of independent experts in the four decade long history of OIC.

Source: OIC Secretariat




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Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on September 7, 2012

The Nineteenth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Peace, Interdependence and Development), held in Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt, from 9-14 Muharram 1411H (31 July to 5 August 1990),

Keenly aware of the place of mankind in Islam as vicegerent of Allah on Earth;

Recognizing the importance of issuing a Document on Human Rights in Islam that will serve as a guide for Member States in all aspects of life;

Having examined the stages through which the preparation of this draft Document has, so far, passed and the relevant report of the Secretary General;

Having examined the Report of the Meeting of the Committee of Legal Experts held in Tehran from 26 to 28 December, 1989;

1- Agrees to issue the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam which will serve as a general guidance for Member States in the field of human rights.



The Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference,

Reaffirming the civilizing and historical role of the Islamic Ummah which God made the best nation that has given mankind a universal and well-balanced civilization in which harmony is established between this life and the hereafter and knowledge is combined with faith; and the role that this Ummah should play to guide a humanity confused by competing trends and ideologies and to provide solutions to the chronic problems of this materialistic civilization.

Wishing to contribute to the efforts of mankind to assert human rights, to protect man from exploitation and persecution, and to affirm his freedom and right to a dignified life in accordance with the Islamic Shari’ah

Convinced that mankind which has reached an advanced stage in materialistic science is still, and shall remain, in dire need of faith to support its civilization and of a self motivating force to guard its rights;

Believing that fundamental rights and universal freedoms in Islam are an integral part of the Islamic religion and that no one as a matter of principle has the right to suspend them in whole or in part or violate or ignore them in as much as they are binding divine commandments, which are contained in the Revealed Books of God and were sent through the last of His Prophets to complete the preceding divine messages thereby making their observance an act of worship and their neglect or violation an abominable sin, and accordingly every person is individually responsible – and the Ummah collectively responsible – for their safeguard.

Proceeding from the above-mentioned principles,

Declare the following:

(a) All human beings form one family whose members are united by submission to God and descent from Adam. All men are equal in terms of basic human dignity and basic obligations and responsibilities, without any discrimination on the grounds of race, color, language, sex, religious belief, political affiliation, social status or other considerations. True faith is the guarantee for enhancing such dignity along the path to human perfection.

(b)All human beings are God’s subjects, and the most loved by Him are those who are most useful to the rest of His subjects, and no one has superiority over another except on the basis of piety and good deeds.

(a) Life is a God-given gift and the right to life is guaranteed to every human being. It is the duty of individuals, societies and states to protect this right from any violation, and it is prohibited to take away life except for a Shari’ah prescribed reason.

(b) It is forbidden to resort to such means as may result in the genocidal annihilation of mankind.

(c) The preservation of human life throughout the term of time willed by God is a duty prescribed by Shari’ah

(d) Safety from bodily harm is a guaranteed right. It is the duty of the state to safeguard it, and it is prohibited to breach it without a Sharia-prescribed reason.

(a) In the event of the use of force and in case of armed conflict, it is not permissible to kill non-belligerents such as old man, women and children. The wounded and the sick shall have the right to medical treatment; and prisoners of war shall have the right to be fed, sheltered and clothed. It is prohibited to mutilate dead bodies. It is a duty to exchange prisoners of war and to arrange visits or reunions of the families separated by the circumstances of war.

(b) It is prohibited to fell trees, to damage crops or livestock, and to destroy the enemy’s civilian buildings and installations by shelling, blasting or any other means.

Every human being is entitled to inviolability and the protection of his good name and honor during his life and after his death. The state and society shall protect his remains and burial place.

(a) The family is the foundation of society, and marriage is the basis of its formation. Men and women have the right to marriage, and no restrictions stemming from race, color or nationality shall prevent them from enjoying this right.

(b) Society and the State shall remove all obstacles to marriage and shall facilitate marital procedure. They shall ensure family protection and welfare.

(a) Woman is equal to man in human dignity, and has rights to enjoy as well as duties to perform; she has her own civil entity and financial independence, and the right to retain her name and lineage.

(b) The husband is responsible for the support and welfare of the family.

(a) As of the moment of birth, every child has rights due from the parents, society and the state to be accorded proper nursing, education and material, hygienic and moral care. Both the fetus and the mother must be protected and accorded special care.

(b) Parents and those in such like capacity have the right to choose the type of education they desire for their children, provided they take into consideration the interest and future of the children in accordance with ethical values and the principles of the Shari’ah

(c) Both parents are entitled to certain rights from their children, and relatives are entitled to rights from their kin, in accordance with the tenets of the Shari’ah.


Every human being has the right to enjoy his legal capacity in terms of both obligation and commitment, should this capacity be lost or impaired, he shall be represented by his guardian.

(a) The question for knowledge is an obligation and the provision of education is a duty for society and the State. The State shall ensure the availability of ways and means to acquire education and shall guarantee educational diversity in the interest of society so as to enable man to be acquainted with the religion of Islam and the facts of the Universe for the benefit of mankind.

(b) Every human being has the right to receive both religious and worldly education from the various institutions of, education and guidance, including the family, the school, the university, the media, etc., and in such an integrated and balanced manner as to develop his personality, strengthen his faith in God and promote his respect for and defense of both rights and obligations.

Islam is the religion of unspoiled nature. It is prohibited to exercise any form of compulsion on man or to exploit his poverty or ignorance in order to convert him to another religion or to atheism.

(a) Human beings are born free, and no one has the right to enslave, humiliate, oppress or exploit them, and there can be no subjugation but to God the Most-High.

(b) Colonialism of all types being one of the most evil forms of enslavement is totally prohibited. Peoples suffering from colonialism have the full right to freedom and self-determination. It is the duty of all States and peoples to support the struggle of colonized peoples for the liquidation of all forms of colonialism and occupation, and all States and peoples have the right to preserve their independent identity and exercise control over their wealth and natural resources.

Every man shall have the right, within the framework of Shari’ah, to free movement and to select his place of residence whether inside or outside his country and if persecuted, is entitled to seek asylum in another country. The country of refuge shall ensure his protection until he reaches safety, unless asylum is motivated by an act which Shari’ah regards as a crime.

Work is a right guaranteed by the State and Society for each person able to work. Everyone shall be free to choose the work that suits him best and which serves his interests and those of society. The employee shall have the right to safety and security as well as to all other social guarantees. He may neither be assigned work beyond his capacity nor be subjected to compulsion or exploited or harmed in any way. He shall be entitled – without any discrimination between males and females – to fair wages for his work without delay, as well as to the holidays allowances and promotions which he deserves. For his part, he shall be required to be dedicated and meticulous in his work. Should workers and employers disagree on any matter, the State shall intervene to settle the dispute and have the grievances redressed, the rights confirmed and justice enforced without bias.

Everyone shall have the right to legitimate gains without monopolization, deceit or harm to oneself or to others. Usury (riba) is absolutely prohibited.

(a) Everyone shall have the right to own property acquired in a legitimate way, and shall be entitled to the rights of ownership, without prejudice to oneself, others or to society in general. Expropriation is not permissible except for the requirements of public interest and upon payment of immediate and fair compensation.

(b) Confiscation and seizure of property is prohibited except for a necessity dictated by law.

Everyone shall have the right to enjoy the fruits of his scientific, literary, artistic or technical production and the right to protect the moral and material interests stemming therefrom, provided that such production is not contrary to the principles of Shari’ah.

(a) Everyone shall have the right to live in a clean environment, away from vice and moral corruption, an environment that would foster his self-development and it is incumbent upon the State and society in general to afford that right.

(b) Everyone shall have the right to medical and social care, and to all public amenities provided by society and the State within the limits of their available resources.

(c) The State shall ensure the right of the individual to a decent living which will enable him to meet all is requirements and those of his dependents, including food, clothing, housing, education , medical care and all other basic needs.

(a) Everyone shall have the right to live in security for himself, his religion, his dependents, his honor and his property.

(b) Everyone shall have the right to privacy in the conduct of his private affairs, in his home, among his family, with regard to his property and his relationships. It is not permitted to spy on him, to place him under surveillance or to besmirch his good name. The State shall protect him from arbitrary interference.

(c) A private residence is inviolable in all cases. It will not be entered without permission from its inhabitants or in any unlawful manner, nor shall it be demolished or confiscated and its dwellers evicted.

(a) All individuals are equal before the law, without distinction between the ruler and the ruled.

(b) The right to resort to justice is guaranteed to everyone.

(c) Liability is in essence personal.

(d) There shall be no crime or punishment except as provided for in the Shari’ah

(e) A defendant is innocent until his guilt is proven in a fair trial in which he shall be given all the guarantees of defence.

It is not permitted without legitimate reason to arrest an individual, or restrict his freedom, to exile or to punish him. It is not permitted to subject him to physical or psychological torture or to any form of humiliation, cruelty or indignity. Nor is it permitted to subject an individual to medical or scientific experimentation without his consent or at the risk of his health or of his life. Nor is it permitted to promulgate emergency laws that would provide executive authority for such actions.

Taking hostages under any form or for any purpose is expressly forbidden.

(a) Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah.

(b) Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right, and propagate what is good, and warn against what is wrong and evil according to the norms of Islamic Shari’ah

(c) Information is a vital necessity to society. It may not be exploited or misused in such a way as may violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets, undermine moral and ethical values or disintegrate, corrupt or harm society or weaken its faith.

(d) It is not permitted to arouse nationalistic or doctrinal hatred or to do anything that may be an incitement to any form or racial discrimination.

(a) Authority is a trust; and abuse or malicious exploitation thereof is absolutely prohibited, so that fundamental human rights may be guaranteed.

(b) Everyone shall have the right to participate, directly or indirectly in the administration of his country’s public affairs. He shall also have the right to assume public office in accordance with the provisions of Shari’ah.

All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’ah.

The Islamic Shari’ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration.

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Turkish FM says Turkey to step in for every humanitarian issue

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on September 4, 2012

August 30, 2012

Davutoglu has called on the international community to share the burden stemming from the increasing number of Syrians taking shelter in Turkey.

The Turkish foreign minister has said Turkey would take part in the solution process of every humanitarian issue even if it happened in a remote part of the world.

“It does not matter whether it happens tens of thousands of kilometers away. Wherever there is a humanitarian issue and a violation of human rights or wherever a community that has historical ties with us faces torture, Turkey will be there,” said Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, while opening the second session of the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (IPHRC), together with OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu in Ankara.

“Whenever OIC launches an initiative on these issues, Turkey will take part in it and extend the necessary support,” he also said.

The foreign minister said IPHRC had assumed a historic responsibility, underscoring that the Commission was not a technical structure, but a philosophical one.

“OIC is not a platform where only the political issues of members states are discussed. It is a wide-scale global platform where problems of the Muslim world and basic humanitarian matters are addressed,” he said.

The minister noted that Islamic world currently faced both theoretical and practical challenges. “Unless there is a revolution in minds, nothing can be achieved in practice,” he said.

Davutoglu also asserted that some circles tried to establish the perception that Islamic world and its values of civilization did not conform with universal humanitarian values. “This attitude is not fair,” he said.

“These are our values as well, they were not injected into the Islamic world from outside. Islam was substantively founded on these values,” Davutoglu said.

“The concept of human rights, both in theory and practice, is not incompatible with the fundamentals of Islamic civilization,” he continued.
Davutoglu emphasized that protection of human life, mind and property were the main principles of Islamic law.

“The mission of this Commission should be to introduce a new human rights approach,” he said, “Unless a new mentality is formed, global challenges could not be addressed.”

The foreign minister also noted that the Muslim world should be seriously evaluated in terms of the practice of human rights.

Developments in Muslim countries

Regarding the developments in Syria, Davutoglu said Syrian people demanded intellectual freedom and the right to express their political opinions.

Pointing to OIC’s suspending Syria’s membership, Davutoglu said Syria would again participate in the organization’s activities as a prestigious member once a new administration was formed in the country in line with people’s demands.

“Turkey is not the protector of any religious group in Syria. Turkey values all religious or sectarian groups in Syria the same and considers the protection of their culture as a key human rights issue,” he also said.

Commenting on the situation in Palestine, Davutoglu said, “Every human rights violation concerning Palestine should be brought forward with the strongest voice.”

The foreign minister suggested that rapporteurs should be assigned by the OIC to examine human rights violations in Muslim countries and the organization should impose sanctions afterwards if necessary.

Pointing to the problems of Muslim minorities all over the world, Davutoglu said all Muslim minorities, whether those in the Balkans, India, Russia, China or Myanmar, were the actual owners of those territories and they had been living there for centuries.

“OIC, as a globally rising institution, should secure the presence of these minorities,” he said.

Touching on the ongoing crisis in Myanmar as well, Davutoglu said, “What happens in Myanmar is a test for all of us.”

Recalling his recent visit to Myanmar’s problematic Rakhine state, Davutoglu said he had conveyed to the Burmese government the message that Muslims living in Rakhine were a part of Myanmar.

Turkish FM urges international community to share burden on Syrian refugees

The Turkish foreign minister has called on the international community to share the burden stemming from the increasing number of Syrians taking shelter in Turkey.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu responded to questions of reporters during a press conference with Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in capital Ankara.
Upon a question on the Syrians fleeing the violence in their country, Davutoglu said the number of Syrians seeking shelter in Turkey had exceeded 80,000.

“Turkey, on one hand, wants to fulfill its humanitarian duty towards Syrians with whom it has historic ties of brotherhood. But on the other hand, the rising number of refugees brings a certain load. This burden has to be shared with the international community,” the minister said.

“As figures continue to increase, we are taking precautions at international level. We also invite UN mechanisms to take action,” he added.

Thanking the residents and officials of cities near the Syrian border for their efforts to accommodate Syrians, Davutoglu said it was quite normal to take precautions against social issues that might arise in the region.

He said Syrians who crossed the border without passports were accommodated in camps, while relevant residence-related procedures were applied for those holding passports.

“It is obvious that these people are not coming to Turkey as tourists. Therefore, it is normal to take several measures,” Davutoglu noted.
The minister said camps in the region were operated in line with international standards, underscoring that journalists and statesmen could visit the region freely.

Davutoglu recalled that Turkey had earlier hosted Turks from Bulgaria, Kurds from Iraq and the Bosniak from Bosnia-Herzegovina.

“When these 80,000 people, comprising of women escaping from rape, children with no parents and old people without any relatives came to our doors, should we have rejected them and sent them away to air raids and snipers?,” Davutoglu said.

Commenting on the Syrian question, OIC head Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu stated that his organization closely monitored the developments and it would soon send field hospitals and mobile clinics to the region.

Missing Turkish cameraman in Syria

Regarding the recently broadcast video footage of Turkish cameraman Cuneyt Unal missing in Syria, the minister said he was happy to see that Unal was alive.

Davutoglu said the video clearly showed that Unal delivered a statement previously dictated to him and he could not have turned into an armed militant all of a sudden.

“The Syrian regime can declare a cameraman or an opponent a terrorist. Anyone who raises his voice against cruelty can be named a terrorist, Israeli spy or something else,” he said.

The minister also underscored that Unal’s health was now the responsibility of the Syrian state.

Turkish FM calls on Muslims to defend human rights as Islamic values

The Turkish foreign minister has said Muslims should defend human rights as values of the Islamic civilization.

“It is time that the Islamic world and all Muslims, both individually and collectively, stand up and defend human rights as values of our civilization all over the world,” said Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, appearing at a joint press conference with Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the Turkish capital.

Speaking to reporters following the second session of the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC), Davutoglu pointed out to the rising demands for democracy and human rights in Islamic societies.
The minister said the Commission’s activities would constitute an important opportunity for the realization of such demands.

“Our main expectation from the Commission is to establish the understanding that the concept of human rights is not in contradiction, but in conformity with fundamental values of the Islamic civilization, and that Muslims should be the leading defenders of human rights,” Davutoglu said.
“This is a revolution of mentality. A new perception is needed in the world,” he continued.

Davutoglu also said IPHRC should not remain a commission only, but turn into a human rights institution of the Islamic world just like the structure within the Council of Europe.

“We are ready to extend all kinds of support to achieve this goal,” he said.
OIC head Ihsanoglu said in his part that high international standards in human rights could not be achieved in a day, but objectives could be accomplished gradually.

Source: Muslim Village




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IPHRC Holds Second Session in Ankara

Posted by Human Rights in Islamic Countries on September 4, 2012


The Second Session of the OIC Independent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) is being held in Ankara, the capital of the Republic of Turkey, from August 27-31, 2012. 

The inaugural Session was addressed by the Foreign Minister of Turkey Mr. Ahmet Davutoglu and the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu who, In their remarks, paid rich tribute to the Commission Members for their high degree of commitment, devotion and professionalism that has contributed to the remarkable progress made in the work of Commission in a short time since establishment. They expressed the confidence that the Second Session in Ankara would contribute significantly towards institutionalizing IPHRC as an important pillar of restructuring and reform at the OIC. The OIC Secretary General underscored the importance of the IPHRC and stated that its establishment was a fulilment of one of the major goal and objective laid out in the OIC Ten-Year Programme of Action. He said that the Commission would serve as a reference point in profiling the importance accorded to human rights in Islam, at the global level. He added that the Commission was a major focus of international attention contributing to the visibility and credibility of OIC as an Organization propelled by the vision of ‘moderation and modernization’ . 

The Ankara Session is expected to adopt the draft rules of procedure and take up human rights situation of Muslims in OIC and non-OIC countries İncluding those in Syria, Mali and Rohingya Muslim in Myanmar. 

The Secretary General and the Commission memebers also called on the Speaker of the Turkish Parliament, H.E. Mr. Cemil Cicek. The Speaker welcomed the Secretary General and the Commissioners for the holding the Session in Turkey. He stressed on the significance and importance of IPHRC towards the cause of human rights and in Muslim countries and raising the profile of the OIC in the international community.





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