London – On October 2nd, Managing Director of CAGE Muhammad Rabbani was denied entry into Poland at the behest of French authorities after landing at Warsaw ahead of speaking at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Human Dimension Conference (OSCE), the world’s largest regional security intergovernmental organisation with 57 participating states.
Rabbani was due to deliver another critical speech against France’s state-sponsored Islamophobia, as he had done last year. On that occasion he was banned from France only a month after delivering a speech on France’s systematic persecution of Muslims.
France has continued its relentless pursuit of Muhammad Rabbani, a human rights defender, this time extending its reach to Poland by abusing international information sharing between states to silence dissent.
This disturbing sequence of events underscores France’s discomfort with public scrutiny of its policies that target Muslim communities. It represents a blatant attack on freedom of expression and undermines the credibility of the OSCE as a platform for human rights and dialogue. It also undermines Poland’s historic struggle to escape totalitarianism which plagued the country during the Soviet era and its credentials as a liberal democracy.
CAGE calls upon the international community to condemn these actions, reaffirming the importance of open discourse in addressing important issues like discrimination. France’s actions should serve as a stark reminder that the fight for justice requires unwavering commitment, even in the face of attempts to stifle dissent.
Muhammad Rabbani, Managing Director of CAGE, said:
“Through this ban, France attempted to prevent CAGE from bringing public awareness at the international level regarding France’s systematic persecution of Muslims. However, France has not achieved its objectives as my colleagues from CAGE are at the conference and have been joined by a number of delegates from various European countries representing Muslim civil society. We will not be silenced.”
These disruptive tactics and authoritarian responses by France will not deter us. I will be challenging this legally and I am confident that we will overturn this ban. This shows that France is uncomfortable with public scrutiny and international awareness on its persecution of its Muslim citizens.”
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)