segunda-feira, março 21, 2011

Crucifixes allowed in public schools

"European Court of Human Rights: crucifixes in public schools do not violate freedom of religion of atheists".

Isto segundo a European Dignity Watch que "was founded in early 2010 and is a non-governmental and non-profit organization based in Europe’s capital Brussels".

Que acrescenta ainda:

"Today, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Grand Chamber announced its Judgment in the case of Lautsi v. Italy, better known as “the Crucifix case". The Court has reversed, by fifteen votes to two, the Judgment of the Second Section in 2009 where the Court held that the presence of crucifixes in public schools involved a violation of the rights protected by the European Convention of Human Rights.

In its 2009 judgment the Court stated that, by displaying a religious symbol like the crucifix in public schools, the Italian State appeared in the eyes of the students (especially non-believers) closer to religion than to those who did not have religious beliefs, which involved, in the opinion of the Court, a kind of indirect support for religion, and therefore a breach of its duty of neutrality. Consequently, the ECHR observed that the Italian Republic had infringed the rights of the applicant, Ms. Lautsi, to ensure her children an education "according to [her] religious and philosophical convictions" (Article 2 of Protocol no. 1 to the Convention), concerning the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Art. 9 of the Convention).

The Court had reached this conclusion in 2009 with a 7 to 0 vote despite having stated expressly that the crucifix has a cultural significance as well as a religious one, and that it was evident that its display in the Italian classrooms was not an attempt at religious indoctrination by the State.

In 2009 the Court also found that the Italian education system ensured pluralism and avoided indoctrination. It was clear that the Italian system had great respect for the rights of parents to give their children an education according to their own convictions. Similarly, the ECHR found that there are a variety of positions in the 47 Member States of the Council of Europe, as to how they understand the principle of the secular character of the State and its practical implications in order to reach the necessary neutrality".

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