Sikh identity issues to figure in conference at Brussels

Amritsar, Punjab:  In a follow up to the protest outside United Nations office in Geneva on November 1, the UK Sikh federation will organize a human rights conference in the European parliament at Brussels on November 4, press secretary of the group Gurjeet Singh told TOI on Friday.

“The conference will be held in two parts, the first will mark the 29th anniversary of anti-Sikh genocide while the other would focus on challenges to the Sikh identity across Europe,” said Gurjeet, adding that the event in Brussels would be timely as it would share the community’s concerns with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from across the continent. He said that around a million Sikhs live in Europe and have unnecessarily experienced increasing challenges since 9/11.

“Emphasis will be on the experiences of Sikhs in France and Belgium who wear turbans,” he said. The UN Human Rights Committee has now ruled in the favour of Sikhs and against France in three separate cases in the last two years.

“European Union member states would be urged to put pressure on France – a permanent member of the UN Security Council – to respect and find a way to implement rulings of the UN Human Rights Committee with respect to the wearing of turbans by Sikhs,” Gurjeet said. He said that Sikhs from around 10 countries in Europe – UK, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Austria and Greece – were expected to take part in the conference.

Source: TOI

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