October 11, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
London, United Kingdom (October 09, 2013): The UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) has now ruled on three separate occasions in the last three years in favour of Sikhs to wear their turbans in France.
The Sikh Federation (UK) has however said as France is ignoring the decisions by the UNHRC Sikhs across the globe now need to approach and lobby their respective governments.
The latest victory on behalf of Shingara Singh was in relation to his refusal to remove his turban for his passport photograph. The first victory was concerning 78 year old Ranjit Singh who refused to remove his turban for his ID photograph and was followed by Bikramjit Singh who successfully complained the French law violated a Sikh student’s right to manifest his religion and permanent exclusion from school was not necessary.
Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said:
‘Sikhs in different countries must exert pressure on France to honour its international obligations and respect the UNHRC rulings on freedom of religion and belief. Sikhs no matter where they live are passionate about respect for the Sikh identity given to us by the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. We are therefore duty bound to stand up for our identity so the least we can do is approach and lobby our respective foreign ministries.’
He continued: ‘In the UK we have already taken steps to exert pressure on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and are in the process of organising a meeting with the Europe Minister, David Lidington to discuss continuing difficulties experienced by turban wearing British Sikhs when returning from certain airports in Italy and Spain. The ruling by the UNHRC against France and in favour of the Sikh identity will be added to the agenda.’
The Sikh Federation (UK) are also in the process of organising another conference in the European Parliament in November that will be looking at the November Sikh Genocide in November 1984 on the one hand and the on-going challenges to the Sikh identity in Europe.
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