Sousse and Kuwait attacks: FIDH condemns the manipulation of religion for political purposes

Press release
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FIDH conveys its condolences and wishes to express its solidarity with the people of Tunisia and Kuwait, victims of two attacks committed on 26 June 2015 and for which the Islamic State has claimed responsibility, using religion as a pretext.

The criminal attack carried out in Sousse that killed 39 persons and wounded dozens of others is an attack against democracy and human rights. It is part of a series of criminal attacks where religion is used as a pretext to sabotage, by targeting tourism which is the country’s main economic resource, the remarkable and exemplary process conducted by the Tunisian people to establish the rule of law on the ruins of a dictatorship.

Tunisia is the only Arab Spring country where democratic aspirations have been stronger than the reactionary and criminal forces that have thwarted political transition in neighbouring countries. It behoves Tunisian authorities to play a fundamental and decisive role as protectors of the values under attack by the perpetrators of these acts. FIDH formally calls on the Tunisian government to fight terrorism with absolute and unconditional respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and all the values and the hopes that drive Tunisia today. This type of commitment is the only way of resisting the threat of raging violence that is hovering over the entire region.

FIDH urges the Tunisian authorities to be ever more vigilant in the fight against weapons trafficking at their borders and to give priority to fighting the deterioration of the economic context that feeds acts of terrorism of this nature.

The suicide bombing in Kuwait that targeted a Shiite mosque and caused 27 deaths and left 22 persons injured is an attack against freedom of conscience. It is part of a series of attacks carried out recently against the Shiite minority in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Since 2011, Shiite minorities in several of the Golf states have increasingly become victims of discrimination and repression in a context where human rights violations are becoming more and more serious. FIDH urges the authorities of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the Unites Arab Emirates and the States that support them to make the incitement of religion-based hatred a crime and to guarantee the freedoms of conscience and expression and of all civil and political rights. In a regional context with alarming rise of religion-related violence, it is incumbent on them to protect all places of worship regardless of religion.

Authorities in Tunis and Kuwait and the entire international community must move to take a position against the instrumentalisation of religion for political purposes. They must also adopt sanctions against States that contribute to the dissemination of religious radicalism throughout the world by making abusive use of religion to violate human rights in their respective countries and elsewhere.

In light of these attacks, FIDH and its member organisations are more determined than ever to actively defend human rights. The non-respect of human rights is the factor that contributes the most to the humanitarian and political calamities that are dangers for all of the countries in the Maghreb, the Middle East and Europe.

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