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First mission to Jordan by the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion

GENEVA (28 August 2013) – United Nations independent expert Heiner Bielefeldt will visit Jordan from 2 September to 12 September 2013, to assess the situation in the country regarding the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of religion or belief, and to promote the adoption of related human rights measures.

“I would like to better understand how Jordan, being situated in an increasingly complicated regional environment, manages religious diversity based on equal respect for everyone's religious or non-religious convictions,” Mr. Bielefeldt said.

“In this context I am interested to learn about existing interreligious dialogue projects, religious family courts and the situation of minorities, including Muslim minorities, different Christian denominations, Druzes, Baha’is and others,” he explained.

This will be the first visit to the country by an independent expert charged by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor freedom of religion or belief worldwide.

During his ten-day visit, the human rights expert will meet with a wide range of relevant Government officials and agencies, as well as representatives of religious or belief communities and civil society organizations in Amman, Karak, Adassiyeh and Zaatari refugee camp.

Mr. Bielefeldt will share his preliminary findings at a press conference to be held on 10 September 2013, at the Intercontinental hotel in Amman.

Following his visit, the Special Rapporteur will present a report containing his conclusions and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in 2014.

Heiner Bielefeldt assumed his mandate on 1 August 2010. He is Professor of Human Rights and Human Rights Politics at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. From 2003 to 2009, he was Director of Germany’s National Human Rights Institution. Mr. Bielefeldt’s research interests include various interdisciplinary facets of human rights theory and practice, with a focus on freedom of religion or belief. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/FreedomReligion/Pages/FreedomReligionIndex.aspx

UN Human Rights, country page – Jordan: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/MENARegion/Pages/JOIndex.aspx

Download the “Rapporteur's Digest on Freedom of Religion or Belief”: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Religion/RapporteursDigestFreedomReligionBelief.pdf

Check the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/religion.htm

For more information and media requests please contact in Amman:
Nora Isayan (+962 79 5392926/ nora.isayan@one.un.org) or
Sharof Azizov (+41 79 201 0118/ sazizov@ohchr.org) or write to freedomofreligion@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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