Human Rights, Anti-mosque Law and Anti Cult Squad challenged by FOB at the OSCE 2015

FOB, European Federation for Freedom of Belief, at the OSCE/ HDIM Meeting in Warsaw

European Federation for Freedom of Belief, FOB, it is a Federation of Associations that advocate freedom of thought, religion and belief. It has been intended as an initiative to support the EU FORB program.

Soteria International is part of FOB since its creation and we work together for a place where all the people live together enjoying fairness and equality too, dispite their religious or belief.

FOB openly stands against every form of religious discrimination, including any arbitrary distinction between "religions" and "cults"; across the decades in fact such a stigma has become largely discriminatory and indeed has been employed to discriminate against religious and spiritual minorities.

At the same time FOB also condemn every kind of abuses and illegalities as well as any type of violence occurring at any place, inside any religious or non-religious environment; and for this very reason we reject any distinction based on early ideological assertions.

This year, during the OSCE/HDIM 2015, FOB expressed openly its position in the session about „Freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief”.


Human Rights, Anti-mosque Law and Anti Cult Squad challenged by FOB at the OSCE Meeting in Warsaw

“The Italian government shall clarify about the anti-mosque legislation passed by Lombardy and about the Anti Cult Squad of the State Police”, Alessandro Amicarelli, spokesman of FOB (European Federation for Freedom of Belief), has addressed with his statement the plenary assembly of OSCE/ODIHR at Warsaw (see the video).

If on one hand the criticisms about the workship places legislation pushed by the Northern League have caused reactions all around Europe due to the criminalisation of minority religions and Islam, on the other hand it’s the third consecutive year that the Italian government is officially demanded at the OSCE/ODHIR Meeting to issue clarifications in respect of this original unit of the Police, created in 2006 with a simple circular letter of the then Chief of the Police – three times in the recent past, members of the Italian Parliament have inquired about such Anti Cult Squad too.

In fact even though never the Anti Cult Squad has caught any single dangerous group through its investigations, it has caused instead a number of prejudices to people that have found themselves involved in undue proceedings; it has also provoked doubts in regards to its only expert, a Roman Catholic priest who is well known for his opinions about secularism and civil rights issues as well as for his involvement with anti cultic associations connected to the suspicious French organisation called FECRIS, which has transversally been accused against at international level on the ground of violating religious freedom.

FOB expresses concerns about the prompt response received from the representative of the Italian government, who while on one hand has not provided any reassurements about the “anti-mosque” legislation enforced in Lombardy, on the other hand instead has asserted the need of such Anti Cult Squad of the Italian Police because of the presence of unidentified “satanic cults”.

Since the case of the “Children of Satan” – all of them compensated with 100,000 Euros pro capite for undue detention – so far not a single case involving any “satanic cult” in Italy has never ended with criminally relevant findings in the courts : conversily a number of innocent people have been unduly detained and have been made subject of the public lies even though they had not committed any crimes; then provided the only one case (Beasts of Satan, 2004) that had some relevance from the point of view of criminal investigations, had no links with any religious or spiritual or sectarian dimension (such expression “sectarian” has been judged by the Council of Europe as both confusing and discriminatory and has consecutively advised States not to employ it), and being it also clear there are no real concerns about safety of the population, the question is : why should the taxpayers in Italy fund a unit of the Police that keeps under control some religious groups, and not others, on the basis of the classification of groups as cults remitted to ultraist priests and controversial organisations?