Skip to main content

Countdown to Human Rights Day

Get inspired by dancer Ahamad Joudeh as he unites refugees in their quest for peace

Learn more

Comments on legislation and policy

Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief

The Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief is mandated by the Human Rights Council and General Assembly to examine incidents and actions by States and non-State actors worldwide that are incompatible with the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, and other relevant international standards.

In particular, the expert also studies and provides legal analysis of any bills, national legislations, regulations, administrative directives or orders, and other policies and practices that may undermine the right to freedom of religion or belief as well as other human rights. These concerns on relevant legislations and policies are raised and commented through “Other Letters” (OL). Normally, “Other Letters” are made public on the communication database after two working days.

Below is a list of “Other Letters” that the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief has communicated with various States and non-State actors since 2016, by date in reverse order.

Date, Country &
communication number



31 Mar 2021
JPN 3/2021

Comments on the amendment bill to the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act.

22 Mar 2021
HUN 1/2021

Comments on the abolition of the Equal Treatment Authority.


09 Mar 2021
NLD 2/2021

Comments on the Bill on Amendments to the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure to criminalize residence in an area controlled by a terrorist organization.

25 Mar 2021

15 Dec 2020
HUN 3/2020

Comments on proposed bills restricting the notion of family to opposite-sex couples; excluding same-sex couples, single persons and non-married opposite-sex couples from adoption; and restricting children's identity to their sex assigned at birth and ensuring an upbringing that "reflects the values based on Hungary's constitutional identity and Christian culture".

18 Dec 2020

01 Sep 2020
SOM 1/2020

Comments on the draft bill on “Sexual Intercourse Related Crimes”.


07 Aug 2020
PAK 10/2020

Comments on the recently established National Commission on Minorities in Pakistan, which reportedly exludes the Ahmadiyya minority and appears not to meet the standards set out for national human rights institutions in the UN Principles relating to the Status of National Institutions (“the Paris Principles”).


29 Jun 2020
PHL 4/2020

Comments on ‘The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020’.

27 Aug 2020

24 Jun 2020
FRA 2/2020

Commentaires à propos de la proposition de loi portant sur les « Mesures de sûreté pouvant être ordonnées à l’encontre des auteurs d’infractions terroristes » portant modification du titre XV du livre IV du code de procédure pénale.


26 May 2020
CHE 1/2020

Commentaires à propos du projet de loi sur les mesures policières de lutte contre le terrorisme.

02 Jul 2020

06 May 2020
IND 7/2020

Comments on the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act 2019 (the amended Act), Counter-terrorism Legislation and the 1967 Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (the Act).


06 May 2020
KGZ 3/2020

Comments on the proposed law of the Kyrgyz Republic on Countering Terrorism.


08 Apr 2020
Sri Lanka
LKA 2/2020

Comments on the circular by the Ministry of Health of Sri Lanka providing standard guidance on the autopsy practice and the disposal of COVID-19 related dead body.


17 Feb 2020
Iran (Islamic Republic of)
IRN 1/2020

Comments on the discrimination on the grounds of religion in the application process for national identity cards in the Islamic Republic of Iran.


28 Nov 2019 Republic of Korea KOR 4/2019

Comments on the draft bill on Transfer to and Performance of Alternative Military Service.

12 Feb 2020

01 Nov 2019
CHN 18/2019

Comments on the effect and application of the 2015 Counter-Terrorism Law of the People’s Republic of China and the 2016 Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Implementing Measures of the Counter-Terrorism Law of the People's Republic of China.

16 Dec 2019

11 Jul 2019
GRC 3/2019

Comments on an Adopted Law (4609/2019) that does not recognize the status of conscientious objectors to military service.

14 Aug 2019

19 Jun 2019
ETH 3/2019

Comments on a Proclamation for the Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism 2019.


27 May 2019
IND 11/2019

Comments on the ongoing process of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) update in the State of Assam and its potential adverse effects.

23 Aug 2019 
02 Sep 2019 
02 Sep 2019 
02 Sep 2019 

17 May 2019
CAN 2/2019 

Commentaires concernant le projet de Loi sur la laïcité de l’État, déposé le 28 mars 2019 à l’Assemblée nationale du Québec.


01 Apr 2019
Brunei Darussalam
BRN 1/2019

Comments on Syariah Penal Code Order that criminalises adultery and consensual same sex relations.


08 Apr 2019 

13 Feb 2019
IND 2/2019 

Comments on the adoption of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.


13 Dec 2018
IND 29/2018

Comments on the impending deadline of 31 December 2018 for the Claims and Objections period with regards to the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the State of Assam.

23 Aug 2019 
02 Sep 2019 
02 Sep 2019 
02 Sep 2019 

12 Nov 2018
CHN 21/2018

Comments on the revision of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Regulation on De-extremification.


07 Nov 2018
Republic of Korea
KOR 4/2018

Welcoming decision by the Supreme Court to de-criminalize conscientious objection to military service.


06 Aug 2018
CHN 14/2018

Comments on the policies and legislation of a two-track passport system that discriminates against Tibetans living certain provinces in China.

26 Oct 2018

11 Jun 2018
IND 13/2018

Comments on the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which was due to be updated by 31 May 2018.

23 Aug 2019 
02 Sep 2019 
02 Sep 2019 
02 Sep 2019 

11 Jul 2018
NPL 1/2018

Comments on the National Integrity and Ethics Policy 2074 (Policy).


17 Jul 2018
PAK 3/2018

Comments on the lack of implementation of the 19 June 2014 Supreme Court decision that requests the Government of Pakistan to take concrete measures to protect members of religious minorities and their places of worship.

27 Nov 2018

14 May 2018
MRT 1/2018

Commentaires concernant la révision de l’article 306 du Code pénal mauritanien.



06 Apr 2018
PAK 1/2018

Comments on the decision of the High Court in Islamabad that ordered obligatory declaration of one’s religion or belief in all official documents.


15 Sep 2017
NPL 5/2017

Comments on the “Bill designed to amend and integrate prevalent laws relating to Criminal Offense” that contained provisions relating to the freedom of religion or belief and freedom of opinion and expression that are incompatible with international law.


09 May 2017
United States of America
USA 6/2017

Information received concerning intensified screening of travellers at the United States border, leading to undue and discriminatory interference with the rights to freedom of expression and privacy of travellers based on their religious affiliation.

14 Sep 2017

27 Apr 2017
NGA 3/2017

Comments on the White Paper on the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the clashes between the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) and the Nigerian Army (NA) in Zaria, Kaduna State.


18 Apr 2017
Economic and Social Council
OTH 6/2017

Letter to the President of the ECOSOC about the decision of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations not to grant ECOSOC’s consultative status to the non-governmental organization Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), as well as the Committee’s working methods.


13 Apr 2017
BRA 4/2017

Comments on two Projects of Law (PL), PL 867/2015 and PL 193/2016, called the federal “School Without Party Programme” bills, which contain provisions that unduly restrict the right to freedom of expression of students and teachers in Brazil.

12 Jun 2017

05 Apr 2017
Economic and Social Council
OTH 5/2017

Comments on the decision of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) not to grant ECOSOC’s consultative status to the non-governmental organization Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), as well as the Committee’s working methods.

24 Apr 2017 

28 Jul 2016
Russian Federation
RUS 7/2016

Information received concerning the recently adopted amendments to the Criminal Code and other laws, collectively known as the “Yarovaya Law,” which raise concerns about potential interference with the exercise of the right to freedom of opinion and expression both within and outside Russia.

12 Oct 2016