October 25, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
London, United Kingdom (October 25, 2013): According to a press release sent to Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) by the Sikh Federation (UK), the UK based Sikh body is going to organise a Human Rights Conference in the European Parliament in Brussels on Monday 4 November 2013.
The conference to be held in one of the largest conference rooms in the European Parliament will be in two parts. The first part will mark the 29th anniversary of the Genocide of Sikhs in November 1984. There will be a number of guest speakers from human rights organisations, including Sikhs for Justice.
“The conference is a follow up from the protest outside the United Nations offices in Geneva on the 1 November organised by Sikhs for Justice when a 1 million strong petition concerning the Genocide of Sikhs in November 1984 is to be submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee” Sikh Federation (UK)’s national press secretary Gurjeet Singh told Sikh Siyasat News (SSN).
The conference in Brussels will be timely as it will share Sikh concerns with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from across Europe.
The second part of the conference relates to challenges to the Sikh identity across Europe. Around 1 million Sikhs live in Europe and have unnecessarily experienced increasing challenges since 9/11. The emphasis will be on the experience of Sikhs in France and Belgium for turban wearing Sikhs. The UN Human Rights Committee has now ruled in favour of Sikhs and against France in three separate cases in the last two years. EU Member States will be urged to put pressure on France as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to respect and find a way of implementing the rulings of the UN Human Rights Committee with respect to the wearing of the Sikh turban.
There are also ongoing problems in certain European airports in countries like Italy and Spain where Sikhs are unnecessarily being forced to take off their turbans as part of security checks despite Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 104/2013 of 4 February 2013. This regulation was a sensible solution allowing the screening of passengers by Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) equipment in combination with Hand Held Metal Detection (HHMD) equipment.
Sikhs from around 10 countries in Europe – UK, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Austria and Greece – are expected to take part in the conference.
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