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PACE expresses concern about Kyrgyzstan’s endorsement of Cairo Declaration

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on January 22 expressed concern about the fact that Sharia law, including provisions which are in clear contradiction with the European Convention on Human Rights, were applied either officially or unofficially in several member states. Resolution of the organization says.

It is concerned about the existence of informal Islamic Courts, citing in particular ’Sharia councils’ in the United Kingdom, or Muftis in eastern Greece acting in a judicial capacity without proper procedural safeguards.

PACE, which supports the principle of separation of state and religion, emphasized that the Islamic declarations on human rights adopted since the 1980s, while being more religious than legal, failed to reconcile Islam with universal human rights — this includes the 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, which, whilst not legally binding, has symbolic value and political significance.

«It is of great concern that three member States, namely Albania, Azerbaijan and Turkey, have endorsed, explicitly or implicitly, the Cairo Declaration, as have Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco and Palestine, whose parliaments enjoy partner for democracy status with PACE,» the Assembly says.

The resolution, adopted by the Assembly called on member States to protect human rights, regardless of religious or cultural practices or traditions.