FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
When the United States first ran for a seat on the Human Rights Council in 2009, we made clear that we sought to change the flawed Council from within, through direct and sustained engagement. This approach is paying dividends. Today the Council took an important step away from the deeply problematic concept of defamation of religion. Regrettably, recent resolutions adopting this concept have been used to rationalize laws criminalizing blasphemy, and challenging widely held freedoms of expression and the press, rather than protecting religious freedom and human rights. The United States is pleased that the Council has taken a new course and adopted a constructive resolution that promotes tolerance for all religious beliefs. This shared approach will lend credence to international efforts to combat discrimination and violence and is consistent with both U.S. laws and universal values.
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