September 28, 2015
Violence and judicial discrimination against women, and the troubling rise of religious extremism in Bangladesh, were among issues raised by representatives for the Center for Inquiry at the 30th regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, being held September 14 to October 2, 2015.
On September 17, representative Josephine Macintosh delivered a statement drawing on discussion at the Council regarding the link between violence against women and discrimination against women. In particular, Macintosh noted that while protections for women’s rights might be rather progressive on paper, in practice they are often ignored and not enforced.
On September 21, representative Raheel Raza raised the issue of worsening human rights situation in Bangladesh, where this year alone religious extremists have killed four secularist bloggers for their writings. In particular, the statement was critical of the Bangladesh government — especially Prime Minister Hasina, who has stated that criticism of religion would not be tolerated — for too often looking the other way while extremists attack peaceful bloggers advocating human decency, instead of protecting the rights to freedom of religion, belief and expression for all.