Wide participation of national institutions of Latin America
Al-Attiyah: The Dialogue shall be on “Combating Hate Speech and Extremism”, It emphasizes that “Terrorism has no religion”
The National Human Rights Committee organizes in collaboration with the Arab Network of National Human Rights Institutions “The Third Arab-American-Iberian Dialogue of National Human Rights Institutions on Combating Hate Speech and Extremism” under the patronage of HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, during the period from 15 to 16 of September at Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Doha, Qatar, With the participation of more than 400 representatives of humanitarian institutions and bodies at the international and regional level.
Ms. Maryam bint Abdullah Al-Attiyah, Secretary-General of the NHRC explained that this conference shall bring together Arab national institutions with national institutions of the Americas and the Iberian Peninsula address the phenomenon of “hate speech extremism”, it shall also come out with perspectives and recommendations that shall constitute ground and the starting point for proper coordination between Arab national institutions and other institutions of the Americas. Al-Attiyah stated that through this conference, the dimensions and backgrounds of this phenomenon shall be addressed to the world. She said and pointed out that participation of regional and international institutions and bodies is highlighted in this important conference that shall be attended by representatives from the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries as well as the General Secretariat of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers. There shall be a wide international participation including the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the International Coordinating Committee of National human rights and international institutions (ICC) in addition to the regional networks of National Institutions for Human Rights, international research centers and observatories on preventing racial discrimination and defamation of religions, as well as a number of ambassadors and representatives of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, and special rapporteurs on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia, the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. Besides wide participation of high-profile and important figures in the field of human rights.
Al-Attiyah stated that this conference does not only address the issue of extremism and terrorism, however it addresses hate speech against Muslim communities in Europe and the phenomenon of Islamophobia; the target of this conference to spread the message that (terrorism has no religion). She added that this conference also aims to Determining concepts and unifying terminologies related to incitement to hatred and intolerance in the light of instruments, legal jurisprudence and international, regional and national diligence, trying to reach an integrate approach to deal with incitement to hatred and intolerance, addressing the most important experiences, best practices and the learned lessons to face hatred and incitement, deepening dialogue on freedom of opinion and expression and banning of advocacy of hatred which forms incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence as they are two complementary issues serving each other, and they are not contradictory, establishing the proper atmosphere and wide space for dialogue among religions, human rights organizations and mass media, reaching to a vision for a work plan on combating hate speech, extremism , and stablishing a mechanism on developing a plan of action on combating hate speech and extremism and spreading the culture of tolerance.
Al-Attiyah stated that The right to freedom of opinion and expression is one of fundamental human rights, and due to the importance of this right for both individuals and the state, the International Legitimacy of Human Rights affirmed it and national constitutions and legislation developed acceptable standards of its practice. The right to freedom of opinion and expression is associated with other rights and freedoms, some of them are necessary and reliable, and others are considered reflection of its manifestations and means of its exercise, where we cannot imagine the exercise of this right without freedom of access to information, or freedom of the media in all its forms including the print, audio-visual and electronic forms, or freedom of peaceful assembly. Freedom of opinion and expression supports exercising other rights and freedoms and constitutes a guarantee to them, and it is indispensable to the expression of human rights, and the dissemination of knowledge on the status of the various rights, as it plays a great important role in promoting understanding and tolerance among cultures, facilitating the free exchange of ideas and opinions, and ensuring proper judgement through following up and giving opinions on matters that currently happen, if it is exercised in light of the relevant duties and responsibilities.
She explained that the relationship between the prohibition of speech of incitement to racial or religious hatred and prosperity of freedom of expression should be considered complementary , not an incompatible zero-sum relationship which entails giving priority to one of the parties to derogate from the other party, rights relating to equality, indiscrimination and freedom of expression should be reflected clearly in laws, policies and practices as mutually supportive human rights.
However, the spread speech inciting to racial or religious hatred still constitutes in many regions of the world a major challenge to human rights, and it is also noted in Rabat Plan of Action on the prohibition of advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, included that Judicial diligence on incitement to hatred is so far rare and improvised, while several countries adopted policies related to this matter, and most of these policies are generalities and are not followed in a systematic form, it lacks the focus on the disadvantaged and appropriate assessments of the results of these policies.
Al-Attiyah noted that the sessions of the conference shall include a two-day series of working papers that will serve the purpose of the conference and establish recommendations to the issues of combating hate speech and extremism and freedom of opinion and expression. The first session shall be on”Guarantees to protect opinion and expressions freedom and obligations related to face hate speech and intolerance” in which the following shall be discussed: Rules related to International Law for Human Rights, Rules related to the Regional Systems for Human Rights, Rabat’s work plan against incitement to hate of 2014, and Models of the best local legislations about opinion and expressions freedom. While the second session shall be on “Modern Forms and problematic issues related to incitement to hate and extremism”, in which the following shall be discussed: Political programs inciting to racial discrimination or encouraging it, Incitement to ethnic or religious hatred, Religious extremism and refusal of cultural pluralism, and Discrimination against refugees, immigrants, asylum-seekers and discrimination based on class-based system. The third session shall be on “Different approaches on combating hate speech and intolerance and the rule of the security in the light of efforts to fight the terrorism”.
The fourth session addresses The role of media and religious institutions to promote the tolerance culture and combating hate and extremism speech, in which The role of the media, social networking sites, and modern technologies in incitement to hatred shall be highlighted. The fifth session shall deal with Human Rights and “abuse of religions” issue, in which the following shall be discussed: Classification of negative perceptions of religions, Addressing national experiences relating to the issue of defamation of religions, National legislations on respecting religions and beliefs. The Sixth session shall address the Role of National Institutions for Human Rights to face hatred, intolerance and spreading of tolerance culture, and Models of the national institutions activities.