Human Rights Council condemns the burning of the Quran as a religious hate act

The Quoran
The Quoran. Photo: Rachid Oucharia/Unsplash

The Human Rights Council July 12th adopted a resolution in which it condemned and strongly rejected any advocacy and manifestation of religious hatred, including the recent public and premedicated acts of desecration of the Holy Quran.

With a vote of 28 in favour, 12 against and 7 abstentions, the Council adopted the resolution entitled “Countering religious hatred constituting incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence”.  The resolution underscored the need for holding those responsible to account in a manner consistent with obligations of States arising from international human rights law.  It also called upon States to adopt national laws, policies and law enforcement frameworks that address, prevent and prosecute acts and advocacy of religious hatred that constitute incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, and to take immediate steps to ensure accountability.

Human Rights Council, Geneva.
Human Rights Council, Geneva.

High Commissioner requested to act

The Council requested the High Commissioner to present an oral update on the various drivers, root causes and human rights impacts of religious hatred constituting incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.  It also decided to organise an interactive panel discussion of experts at its fifty-fifth session to identify drivers and root-causes and human rights impacts of desecration of sacred books, and places of worship as well as religious symbols as a manifestation of religious hatred which could constitute incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.


Documents and reports related to the Human Rights Council’s fifty-third regular session can be found here.

The results of the Vote were as follows:

In favour (28): Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cameroon, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

Against (12): Belgium, Costa Rica, Czechia, Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Romania, United Kingdom and United States.

Abstentions (7): Benin, Chile, Georgia, Honduras, Mexico, Nepal and Paraguay.