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Deputy Ambassador To Switzerland Showcases Sierra Leone's Religious Tolerance And Peace

Deputy Ambassador To Switzerland Showcases Sierra Leone's Religious Tolerance And Peace

Geneva, Switzerland, Saturday 6 March 2021- At the ongoing 46th Session of the Human Rights Council, the Deputy Ambassador to Switzerland and Deputy Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations Office and other International Organisations in Geneva, His Excellency Samuel U.B. Saffa Esq, underscored President Julius Maada Bio's efforts in maintaining and strengthening the nation's religious tolerance as a therapeutic to injustice and a basis for consolidating.

Delivering Sierra Leone's position on religious freedom, His Excellency Samuel Saffa commended the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and belief for highlighting the destructive effects of Islamophobia in his report to the Council, adding that Sierra Leone is a religiously and culturally diverse society and an exceptionally tolerant
nation. This was alluded to by the erstwhile mandate holder.

"The 2020 Freedom in the World Report by Freedom House scored Sierra Leone 4- over-4 on whether individuals are "free to practice and express their religious faith or non-belief in public and private," Ambassador Saffa
said.
"Our nation's religious tolerance is deeply embedded in our everyday practice, laws, policies, education, marriage and social life, as well as in our national institutions, including the Inter-Religious Council," he noted.

Highlighting the Government of Sierra Leone's recent policy decisions, Ambassador Saffa informed the UN body that with the improving COVID-19 situation, the government in February announced that churches and mosques could with immediate effect resume regular services in strict compliance with the Infection Prevention and Control Protocols.

His Excellency Samuel Saffa also appreciated the effective campaign of the "Hands Off Our Girls" initiative by the Office of the First Lady and the establishment of the Sexual Offences Court by the Judiciary which are holding accountable those who sexually abuse women and girls under the guise of religion or traditional practices.

Sierra Leone's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations assured the Human Rights Council of Sierra Leone's continued commitment to engage with treaty bodies and special procedure mandate holders in respecting and protecting freedom of religion as a basis for consolidating religious tolerance and
peace.

The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and making recommendations on them.

The 46th Session of the Council has been holding daily meetings, interactive dialogues, and panel discussions from 22 February and is due to conclude on 23 March 2021.


For More Enquiries:
Mohamed Sheriff
Information Attaché,
Geneva, Switzerland 
+41 79 175 66 48
Email: m.sheriff@slmge.ch