On 4 February, EHF President Pierre Galand met with Under-Secretary of State for European Affairs Inga Skujina in Riga. This meeting, held in the framework of the Latvian Council Presidency (January- July 2015) was organised under Article 17 of the TFEU which commits EU institution to hold a regular dialogue with churches and non-confessional organisations.
During the meeting, Pierre Galand underlined the double standards existing between EU internal and external policies on human rights and more particularly on freedom of religion and beliefs (FRoB) and freedom of expression. He highlighted several cases of FRoB violations and urged the Presidency to take actions against inhumane sentences taken against Cheikh Ould M’Kheitir (sentenced to death for apostasy in Mauritania) and Raif Badawi (sentenced to prison and 1000 lashes for promoting freedom of conscience in Saudi Arabia).
Following this discussion, he presented the new joint IHEU-EHF campaign to abolish blasphemy laws worldwide and in the EU : http://end-blasphemy-laws.org/
Pierre Galand also insisted on the need for Latvia to strenghten its non-discrimination law and legalise same-sex partnerships.
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