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2007-06-25
London, United Kingdom
British laws spark U.N. religious concern
A U.N. special rapporteur on religious freedom says British anti-terrorist laws target Muslims, undermining human rights.

The independent rapporteur, Asma Jahangir, voiced her concern June 15 as she wrapped up an 11-day visit to Britain.

Although the nation possesses deep knowledge and a "great wealth of experience" in handling religious tensions and terrorist acts carried out for religious purposes, some new laws are widely believed to target the Muslim population and "undermine the human rights of all," Jahangir said.

"A discriminatory application of stop-and-search powers and religious profiling may ultimately prove to be counterproductive," she said.

While Jahangir understood states were obliged to adopt measures to thwart terrorism, she also noted she heard allegations of abuses of counter-terrorism laws, particularly of the provisions that criminalize the failure to disclose information about terrorist acts.

During her visit, Jahangir met with Prime Minister Tony Blair, senior government officials, politicians, non-governmental organizations and academics, while she also toured a school, a prison and an immigration removal center.

Source: United Press International (UPI)
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