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This Press Release may be read online at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-16-07-2009-00.htm
Press Release: 16th Jul 2009, 1st Saavan (Samvat 541 Nanakshahi )
"Today is the day, 264 years ago, when a Sikh martyr, Bhai Taru Singh, was scalped alive, by the oppressive rulers of the day, because he refused to give up his faith that required him to wear his hair unshorn. Ironically, today, our lawyers learnt that the European Court of Human Rights has dismissed Jasvir Singh’s right to wear his religiously mandated turban to school, denying him a right to practice his faith,":Mejindarpal Kaur, UNITED SIKHS legal director
"Sikhs are striving for a society in which all faiths coexist in harmony, where the expression of religion and culture is a celebration of diversity. By contrast, the Court’s decision allows states to suppress expressions of religious diversity, apparently as a means of promoting peace. It is a depressingly negative view of the state’s role in promoting religious tolerance. The UN Human Rights Committee, which is also considering this issue, has called on France to justify its ban on the wearing of religious signs.": Stephen Grosz, UNITED SIKHS London based lawyer.
STRASBOURG, France: The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) dismissed last month the first legal challenge, since France passed a law in 2004 banning religious signs in schools, filed by UNITED SIKHS on behalf of Jasvir Singh. The decision, against which there is no leave to appeal, and which was communicated to UNITED SIKHS lawyers today, has strengthened the resolve of the Sikh community globally to rise to the challenge and defy odds to regain their right. The Court, without requiring France to respond to Jasvir Singh's legal arguments, has following the decision it made last November in the Islamic headscarf physical education cases (which pre-dated the 2004 law), by ruling that the ban on turbans is a proportionate response to the aims of protection of the rights and freedoms of others and the protection of public order.
You may read a previous UNITED SIKHS' press release on the Right to Turban campaign at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-15-12-2008-00.htm
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