The EHF has sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Greece protesting about threats to a human rights organisation, the Greek Helsinki Monitor, by a government minister speaking in the Greek parliament. We have copied our letter widely. The Greek Helsinki Monitor has taken many cases to the European Court of Human Rights, including several related to secularist concerns. It is run by Panayote Dimitras, who spoke at our conference in Athens in 2008… read more »
Open Letter to Council of Europe, Human Rights Court, Politicians etc. An impressive list of well over 100 Italian organisations has sent a joint open letter to the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council and the Court of Human Rights supporting the Court’s finding in the case of Lautsi v Italy and deploring the “vicious and violent” reaction of many in Italy. They denounce the Vatican’s domination of Italian politics despite its… read more »
The EHF has organised its first major lobby of the European Parliament. The complex organisation of the meetings was undertaken for us by the international unit of the Centre d’Action LaIque in Brussels. Ten people from ten EHF member organisations in seven countries spent Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 January at the Parliament and had meetings with 15 MEPs and the assistants to two others. The MEPs came from ten countries and four political groups…. read more »
Greece has a new Humanist organisation. The Humanist Union of Greece, founded this month, has 48 members so far. It announces that it “aims to promote secularism and a humanist view of cultural, social and ethical values and to work for social and cultural progress. To achieve these aims, the association aims to publish statements on specific issues related to its aims; to provide information to the public; to advocate before administrative and judicial authorities… read more »
EHF protests to Socialist group over reactionary attitude The European Court of Human Rights has delivered a judgement of huge significance to secularism and human rights. It is subject to appeal and an immense campaign is being mounted to get the full (Grand Chamber) Court to reverse the judgement. The Socialist Group in the European Parliament has joined right-wing parties in seeking to undermine the judgement with talk of subsidiarity and the rights of majorities… read more »
Swami Manavatavadi (see December 23) writes that, apparently at the instigation of the state Governor, he has been visited by “the Deputy Commissioner along with the President of District Bar Association, President of District Congress (Party) Committee, many Lawyers and a crowd of Respectable persons of the Town” who have promised to solve the ten points at issue. Swami Manavatavadi has as a result suspended his hunger strike pending the outcome of their intervention. EHF… read more »
For the second time EHF has intervened to support Swami Manavatavadi and his International School of Humanitarian Thoughts and Practice – known as Kids’ Kingdom. An associate member of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, the school is dedicated to the education and rehabilitation of street children, orphans, dalits and destitute women. From the start it has been persecuted by its Brahmin neighbours and Swami Manavatavadi is now on hunger strike in protest. See our… read more »
EHF member DFW organised a conference for young people at Klingberg, Germany, in November to discuss secular values. We have a full report on this successful event. The report is available in German (and with photos) here. DFW are planning a new conference for November 2010.
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled against Italy’s compulsory display of crucifixes in State school classrooms. Meantime in a referendum Switzerland has voted to ban construction of minarets. The EHF, IHEU and the two principal Belgian organisations have jointly published an article in the Belgian newspaper Le Soir applauding the judgement, deploring the referendum and explaining the reasons why.
Two events in late 2009 – the immensely important Lautsi judgement on crucifixes in Italian classrooms and the Swiss referendum on minarets – gave us the opportunity to join with IHEU and the two principal Belgian laique organisations in producing an article published in the Belgian newspaper Le Soir on December 15. The original text (in which the references to CAL had not been corrected to include all the organisations) is in French and the… read more »