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Freedom of Religion or Belief - An International Law Commentary by Bielefeldt, Heiner; Ghanea, Nazila; Wiener, Michael (21st January 2016)

Part 3 Vulnerable Groups, 3.2 Persons Deprived of Their Liberty

From: Freedom of Religion or Belief: An International Law Commentary

Heiner Bielefeldt, Nazila Ghanea, Michael Wiener

Subject(s):
Religion — Freedom of association — Freedom of expression — Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion — Imprisonment — Minorities

This chapter addresses the right to freedom of religion or belief, which all detainees should enjoy regardless of the reasons of their detention. Freedom of religion or belief can be deeply significant for detainees, since it can offer them comfort, rehabilitation, and hope at a time when they are experiencing a paucity of social interaction. The chapter highlights the positive duties upon the State in relation to detention due to the heightened risk of religious violations such as indoctrination, forced conversion or involuntary access to prison chaplains. Moreover, imprisonment imposes particular risks on limitations being imposed on manifestations of religion or belief such as fasting, access to religious materials, diet, clothing, and headdress.

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