Parliamentary question by Marco Cappato (NI) to the Commission and answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission
WRITTEN QUESTION P-0771/03
by Marco Cappato (NI) to the Commission
(04 March 2003)
Subject: Right to religious freedom in Cambodia
Last Friday the Ministry for Religious Affairs of Cambodia adopted a directive forbidding all public proselytising activities. The provision is clearly aimed at preventing possible religious tensions and protecting the privacy of the Cambodian people. The government's initiative appears to have been prompted by the practice followed by some religious communities, such as the evangelical churches, of campaigning from door to door. The Under-Secretary of State for Religious Affairs, Dok Narin, has said that: "some Christian groups are not good. They are forcing people to convert".
Is the Commission aware of this provision? What will it do to avert the risk of this directive being used to discriminate against religious groups disliked by the government? What pressures will it bring to bear to ensure that Cambodians fully enjoy the right to religious freedom, which, as established by Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, includes the freedom to change religion or belief and the freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest one's religion or belief in teaching practice, worship and observance?
Answer given by Mr Patten
on behalf of the Commission
(26 March 2003)
The Commission is well aware of the Directive of the Ministry of Cults and Religious Affairs issued on 14 January 2003, which aims at preventing inter-religious conflicts by enforcing instructions issued on 21 August 1999.
While it is true that according to the Directive, some Christian proselytising activities are forbidden, such as door-to-door visits "since these actions disturb the daily life of the people and create situations of insecurity that affect social peace", the Directive also states that it is compulsory to respect religions other than yours own and it is forbidden to criticise or smear them. This is also valid for Buddhism, the State religion in Cambodia. Any activity leading to inciting religious hatred or conflict is also prohibited.
Religious freedom in Cambodia is guaranteed by article 31 (Chapter III) of the Constitution. In the absence of an in dept-analysis at this stage, the Directive as well as measures adopted until now by the Ministry of Cults and Religious Affairs, which are put in place to avoid the risks of religious conflicts, do not appear to violate the Universal Declaration on Human Rights nor the provisions of the Cambodian Constitution.
The Commission does not find any reason, at present, to believe that the government will use this Directive to discriminate against any particular religious groups.
Members and contributors 2013
|Giuseppe R. Roma||590 €|
|Salvatore P. Capistrello||200 €|
|Giancarlo B. Torino||30 €|
|Marco B. Merano||20 €|
|Davide B. Prato||50 €|
|Giuseppe P. Grottammare||50 €|
|Maurizio T. Roma||1.000 €|
|Rosa A. Firenze||590 €|
|Giuliano G. Sondrio||590 €|
|Sergio Pasquale R. Cremona||500 €|
|Total SUM||326.746 €|
Online Donations 2013
Brussels AntennaCambodiaMu SochuaNo Peace Without JusticeSam Rainsy"Transition towards what?" Sam Rainsy and Mu Sochua meet the Radical Party
AppealBrussels AntennaCambodiademocracyEUSam RainsyAppeal to the EU and meeting with leaders of Cambodia opposition party Sam Rainsy and Mu Sochua
CambodiaSam Rainsy: Cambodia's constitutional crisis endangers government’s foreign creditors
CambodiaSam Rainsy: Appeal for international parliamentary solidarity
Dello stesso autore
04/22/2002 LEGALITY Parliamentary question by Marco Cappato (NI) to the Commission and answer given by Mr Nielson on behalf of the Commission
- 1 of 13
Sam Rainsy Party
Sam RainsyA European costly joke
02/11/2006Sam Rainsy returns to Cambodia
02/07/2006Opposition MP freed from prison
01/23/2006SENATE ELECTION: ONE CAN STILL HEAR THE BARKING DOGS
10/10/2010 Cambodia Appeal from parliamentarians for the reactivation of the Paris agreements on Cambodia
05/30/2010 Burma Cambodia Italy Laos Montagnard Vietnam General Council: Approved Resolution on South East Asia
06/26/2008 Civil Rights QUESTIONS (EP) EP, Write question, Detention-without-charge in the UK
10/01/2007 Chechnya QUESTIONS (EP) OSCE's Exclusion of Nongovernmental Organizations, a Violation of the Helsinki Principles