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SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 34th MEETING
Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Friday, 2 April 2004, at 10 a.m.
Chairperson : Mr. SMITH (Australia)
(a) TORTURE AND DETENTION
(b) DISAPPEARANCES AND SUMMARY EXECUTIONS
(c) FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
(d) INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY, ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE, IMPUNITY
(e) RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE
(f) STATES OF EMERGENCY
(g) CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION TO MILITARY SERVICE (continued )
(g) CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION TO MILITARY SERVICE
(agenda item 11) (continued ) (E/CN.4/2004/3 and Add.1, Add.2 and Corr.1 and Add.3, 7 and Corr.1 and Add.1, Add.2 and Corr.1 and Add.3, 50-52, 53 and Add.1, 54, 55, 56 and Add.1-3, 57-59, 60 and Add.1, 62 and Add.1-4, 63 and Add.1 and 2; E/CN.4/2004/6/1, 18, 19, 26, 33, 34, 40; E/CN.4/2004/NGO/8, 13, 14, 19, 30-49, 52, 54, 55, 58, 59, 65, 70-72, 79, 87, 88, 90, 92, 94, 104, 111, 125, 128-130, 134, 145, 151, 153, 179, 182, 183, 188, 194, 206, 214, 224, 231, 236-240, 246, 252; E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/39; E/CN.15/2002/3; E/CN.15/2001/8)
2. Mr. MONOD (War Resisters’ International) said that, despite the Commission’s efforts, the situation regarding the right to conscientious objection continued to be of great concern in many countries. In Israel, it had deteriorated considerably over the previous two years, with over 300 conscientious objectors imprisoned since the beginning of the current intifada, an increase in court martials and imprisonment for young draft resisters, and imprisonment of women conscientious objectors, despite the right to conscientious objection being recognized for women in Israel. While the United Nations General Assembly had repeatedly condemned the occupation of Palestinian territories, and human rights violations by the Israeli Defence Forces had been well documented, young Israeli men who fled abroad to seek asylum as a result of their conscientious objection to military service were rarely recognized as refugees.
20. Mr. AMOR (Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief), introducing his report (E/CN.4/2004/63 and Add.1 and 2), said that it covered the visits he had made and those that had not been possible. The Governments of Israel, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Nigeria and the Russian Federation had not responded to requests for a visit, despite regular reminders. China, however, had invited him to make a second visit and suggested practical arrangements to that end. An invitation had also been extended by the Islamic Republic of Iran, although plans were not yet in place for that visit. The visit to Georgia had enabled him to emphasize the dangers of too close a relationship between the State and the Orthodox Church, and the risk that one could become a tool of the other. He had recommended that the religious minorities there should be granted equal recognition, and urged the Government to prosecute the perpetrators of violence against them without delay, while ensuring the security and independence of those conducting the judicial proceedings, and protection of the victims. While freedom of religion or belief was guaranteed in Romania, that had been difficult to reconcile with the distinction between recognized and non-recognized religions. The most pressing issue, however, was the return of religious property.