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6 I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS Passion Islam I August 2008
Treat Muslims
better, Britain
told by UN
The UN human rights committee said last People suspected of being involved in responsible are prosecuted and punished
month Britain should ease back on tough terrorism and subject to control orders and in accordance with the gravity of the
“anti-terror” measures and take firm action curfews limiting their movements should crime,” said the committee, which has
to combat “negative public attitudes” be “promptly charged with a criminal members from Australia, Benin, Britain,
towards Muslims. offence” and their lawyers given access to Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Ireland,
In separate comment, the 9-member the evidence against them, it added. Mauritius and Sweden.
body, composed of legal experts from a The body, whose members are expected In comments on the Irish government
range of countries, also called on Ireland to be independent of their governments, report, it said Dublin “should take
to open up its largely Catholic primary said it was concerned “negative public measures to help women avoid unwanted
school system to secular education, and attitudes towards Muslim members of pregnancies so that they do not have to
to moderate tough abortion laws. society” continued to develop in Britain. resort to illegal or unsafe abortions....”
The strictures were issued in summary The government “should take energetic It also expressed concern “that the vast
observations by the committee on reports measures to eliminate this phenomenon majority of Ireland’s primary schools are
presented by both countries earlier this and ensure that authors of such acts of privately-run denominational schools”
month on how they were carrying out discrimination on the basis of religion are with religion integrated into the curriculum,
obligations under the 1966 International adequately deterred and sanctioned”. “thus depriving many parents and children
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It said Britain should conduct prompt who so wish to have access to secular
Expressing strong concern over British and independent investigations into all primary education”.
government plans to extend pre-trial allegations of suspicious deaths, torture The committee told Ireland it should
detention of terrorist suspects from 28 or cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment amend its constitution to drop a compulsory
to 42 days, the committee said suspects or punishment inflicted by its personnel in religious oath for judges and allow them to
should be brought to court “within a Afghanistan and Iraq. make a non-religious declaration instead.
reasonable period of time, or released”. Britain “should ensure that those – Reuters
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