Report on restrictions imposed on expression on account of religion or belief

​5 March 2019
Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief
To the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council on 5 March 2019


In his report, the Special Rapporteur explores freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression as two closely interrelated and mutually reinforcing rights. The Special Rapporteur provides a brief overview of the rules that govern limitations on those freedoms under the international legal framework on human rights, explores some primary examples of restrictions imposed on the freedom of expression for reasons relating to religion or belief and examines the justifications frequently offered for imposing them. In this light, he further discusses a number of emblematic cases. He concludes that initiatives and action plans developed in the past decade to operationalize States’ obligations under article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights should continue to guide Governments and civil society actors in their efforts.

Additional information

Special Procedures
Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief
Recent thematic reports
Issues in focus
Contact information

Mr. Ahmed Shaheed
Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief
c/o Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations at Geneva
8-14 avenue de la Paix
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Fax: (+41) 22 917 90 06

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