May 28, 2024

GCC states affirm utmost importance of enacting laws, legislations that criminalise hate speech

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states emphasized the utmost importance of enacting laws and legislations that constantly criminalize hate speech locally, as well as setting programmes that promote community awareness to renounce hate and enhance alternative values that underpin tolerance and interfaith dialogue.

The GCC states pointed out that these values are underscored by articles 7 and 8 of the GCC human rights declaration on promoting freedom of religion and belief, revoking blasphemy and all forms of hatred in exchange for deepening the principles of tolerance, fraternity and other noble principles firmly established in the value system of the GCC states.

This came in Qatar’s statement delivered by Deputy Permanent Representative of Qatar in Geneva, Jowhara bint Abdulazziz Al Suwaidi, on behalf of the GCC countries during the Interactive Dialogue on Reports on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Human Rights Defenders within the 55th session of the Human Rights Council.

The GCC states agree with the content set out in the report of the Special Rapporteur that reviews the dangerous and detrimental consequences of hate speech based on religion and belief, which dramatically jeopardize human dignity and full enjoyment of human rights, and subsequently engender other consequences not far less dangerous than the surge in crime rates, and the appalling challenges at the level of public health, Al Suwaidi pointed out.

She added that Qatar is following the phenomenon of Islamophobia with grave concern, along with its perilous repercussions on human rights, and reminded of the remarks delivered by the Secretary-General of the United Nations during the International Day to Combat Islamophobia, who stated that intolerance against Muslims reached epidemic proportions and is a dangerous phenomenon that must be studied in depth, monitored and worked to confront by all means at the global level.