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ICYF President condemns the interference of Mr. Muhammad Rabbani’s (from CAGE International) participation in the conference dedicated to “Neocolonialism: human rights, peace and security”, organized by Baku Initiative Group in the United Nations Office in Geneva on 14 December 2023

On behalf of the Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum (ICYF), H.E. Taha Ayhan, the ICYF President condemns the Swiss authorities’ decision to ban Mr. Muhammad Rabani, Managing Director of CAGE International, from entering Switzerland, purportedly under pressure from the French Government to attend a conference organised by the Baku Initiative Group at the United Nations Office in Geneva on 14 December 2023, which aims to support human rights, peace, and security and the fight against neocolonialism.

The interference by the French authorities that resulted in Mr. Rabani’s detention at the Geneva Airport is profoundly concerning as it raises questions about the infringement of individuals’ right to engage in intellectual activities. This conduct prevented Mr Rabbani, a well-known activist who advocates effortlessly for individual rights and combats Islamophobia, from participating in the said conference.

In this regard, the ICYF President intensely deplore the restrictions on Mr. Rabbani’s freedom of expression and movement, which defies the democratic and human rights ideals commonly espoused by Western governments, particularly by France which pretends to be the global gendarme of liberal democracy and human rights. Additionally, the rise of Islamophobia phenomenon applied by the French Government against Muslims is another indicator of double standards policy of France.
Moreover, the ICYF also denounces that Switzerland, a sovereign nation, does not preserve neutrality when it should act according to its principles rather than other governments’ preferences.

On behalf of ICYF, H.E. Taha Ayhan reaterates his commitment to supporting individual rights and fighting islamophobia, as well as unequivocally condemning all forms of injustice at the global level, and calls on the French authorities to thoroughly investigate this incident, uphold the principles of justice and human rights, and ensure that such unwarranted interference does not occur in the future, especially with regards to individuals engaged in the promotion of human rights and peace.

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