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First visit to Moldova by UN Expert on Religious Freedom

29 August 2011

GENEVA – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, will visit the Republic of Moldova from 1 to 8 September 2011, in what is the first mission to the country by a UN human rights expert on religious freedom.

“I will identify any existing or emerging obstacles to the enjoyment of the freedom of religion or belief in the Republic of Moldova and present recommendations on ways and means to overcome such obstacles”, said Mr. Bielefeldt, who is visiting the country at the invitation of the Government.

The work of the Special Rapporteur, as mandated by the UN Human Rights Council, also requires him to promote the adoption of measures at the national, regional and international levels to ensure the advancement and protection of the right to freedom of religion or belief.

During this eight-day mission, Mr. Bielefeldt intends to travel to Chiinãu, Orhei, Bãlþi and Tiraspol. He will meet with various officials and local authorities responsible for matters of religion or belief. His visit will also include meetings with representatives of religious or belief communities, civil society organisations and UN agencies.

A press conference to share his preliminary findings will be held on 8 September 2011 in Chiinãu. Following his visit, the Special Rapporteur will present a report containing his conclusions and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2012.

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Heiner Bielefeldt assumed his mandate on 1 August 2010. As Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, he is independent from any government, and acts in his individual capacity. Mr. Bielefeldt is Professor of Human Rights and Human Rights Politics at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. From 2003 to 2009, he was Director of Germany’s National Human Rights Institution. The Special Rapporteur’s research interests include various interdisciplinary facets of human rights theory and practice, with a focus on freedom of religion or belief.


Learn more about the mandate and work of the Special Rapporteur:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/FreedomReligion/Pages/FreedomReligionIndex.aspx

OHCHR Country Page – Republic of Moldova:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/MDIndex.aspx

An e-Digest on Freedom of Religion or Belief – 25 years of thought by four
UN Special Rapporteurs (download your copy):
http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Religion/RapporteursDigestFreedomReligionBelief.pdf

Check the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and
of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief:
http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/religion.htm


ENDS

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