Protecting Life: Repealing the Death Penalty for Apostasy and Blasphemy

Date(s) - March 8, 2022
3:30 am - 5:30 am

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NB: This is a public event, which will be recorded, by registering for the event you confirm that you have noted this information.

This side-event is convened to bring together the cross-sectional advocacy regarding freedom of religion, belief, and expression, and activism to repeal the death penalty, acknowledging the “chilling effect” anti-apostasy and anti-blasphemy laws have on a plethora of other freedoms for individuals from diverse religious and belief backgrounds.

The side-event will build on the Monash University Report Killing in the Name of God which compiled trends and patterns in the 12 states that maintain the death penalty for religion or belief and also address vulnerabilities women face as a result of these laws.

The side-event will review ongoing initiatives led by the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, such as Faith for Rights, civil society stakeholders and UN member states to ensure the death penalty is “never imposed” for exercising religion or belief and expression.


  • To help policy makers understand the extent and nefarious effects of the death penalty sanction for expressions of religion or belief.
  • To present the main findings of the Killing in the Name of God report, including challenges and recommendations.
  • To encourage states who support the moratorium for the use of the death penalty and states who support freedom of religion or belief to advocate for the repeal of the death penalty as a criminal punishment for religion or belief.
  • To inspire and equip policy makers to address and effectively work to repeal the death penalty for religion or belief and how to coordinate and engage with civil society and stakeholders on the ground to make it a reality.


The event will be hybrid and host a panel of witnesses and experts, followed by a Q&A session.


Ambassador Jos Douma Special Envoy for Religion and Belief for the Netherlands


Ann Buwalda Executive Director Jubilee Campaign

Some of the speakers:

Dr. Ahmed Shaheed UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief )

Mr. Morris Tidball-Binz UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions

Fiona Bruce UK Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief

Nadine Maenza USCIRF Chair

Dr Mai Sato Director Eleos Justice

Professor Masud Distinguished professor, Ph.D holder, Ad hoc judge Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Kola Alapinni Esq. Representing blasphemy law victim Yahaya Aminu Sharif at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Barrister and solicitor

Anietie Awang Researcher Human Rights Watch

Mariam Ibraheem Human Rights Advocate – Survivor of the apostasy law Sudan

Dr. Nasreldin Abdelbari  Former Justice Minister Sudan

Dr Ibrahim Salama Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Country co-sponsors from the Permanent Missions of Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sierra Leone, the United Kingdom and the United States.

NGO ECOSOC co-sponsors: Jubilee Campaign, CAP Freedom of Conscience, Muslims for Progressive Values and World Evangelical Alliance.

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