|In Light of the Conversion of Two Palestinian Christians to Islam, PCHR Emphasizes the Right to Freedom of Thought and Religion|
|Thursday, 19 July 2012 00:00|
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) has followed the consequences of the conversion of 2 Palestinian Christians from Gaza to Islam during the current week. PCHR has also followed the different declarations and allegations regarding this incident that may affect the Palestinian social fabric. In light of these developments, PCHR emphasis’ the right to freedom of thought and religion that is guaranteed in the Palestinian Basic Law and Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
On Wednesday, 11 July 2012, PCHR received a complaint from the family of Hiba Abu Dawood (31). Based on this complaint, Abu Dawood left with her 3 female children to an unknown location. She then sent a SMS to her husband telling him that she had converted to Islam. On Sunday, 15 July 2012, PCHR received another similar complaint from the family of Ramez al-Amash. Al-Amashhad left a letter for his family in their house telling them that he converted to Islam and asking them to accept his decision.
PCHR had paid a great deal of attention to these 2 complaints and made intense investigations to ensure that Abu Dawood and al-Amash converted to Islam under their own free will without any coercion.
Over the few past days, PCHR held meetings with Abu Dawood and al-Amash and their families. On Thursday, 12 July 2012, PCHR met with Abu Dawood. It is clear that Abu Dawood converted to Islam under her own free will without any coercion. PCHR also met with al-Amash on Sunday, 15 July 2012. PCHR organized another meeting on Monday, 16 July 2012, between al-Amash and his family. PCHR found out that al-Amashhad also converted to Islam under his own free will without any coercion. According to information made available to PCHR, al-Amash went back to live with his family after they said that they will accept his decision. Today, 19 July 2012, PCHR organized a meeting between the 3daughters of Abu Dawood and their father at PCHR’s head office.
In view of the above, PCHR:
1- Stresses, after meeting with Abu Dawood and al-Amash, that they converted to Islam under their own free will without any coercion of any type; and
2- Stresses the right to freedom of thought and religion, in accordance with Article 18 of the Palestinian Basic Law and Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
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