"The UNHRC has asked France to submit a report by March 15th on measures it is taking to remedy the violation of the religious freedom of 76-year-old Ranjit Singh, who was asked to remove his turban for his ID photo," said Mejindarpal Kaur, UNITED SIKHS Legal Director, who is in the fore-front of a legal campaign for French Sikhs' right to wear their turban.
BOBIGNY, France, Jan. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) has concluded that France had violated the religious freedom of 76 year old Ranjit Singh when he was asked to remove his turban for his ID photograph. This was disclosed today at a media conference, in Bobigny, by the UNITED SIKHS legal team, who had filed a communication on behalf of Ranjit Singh to the UNHRC in December 2008.
"I had faith that truth and justice would prevail and I patiently waited for this day. I pray that France will now fulfill its obligation and grant me a residence card bearing my photo without baring my head," said Ranjit Singh, who has had no access to the public health-care system or to social benefits since 2005 because his residence card was refused due to his refusal to remove his turban.
UNHRC's decision is here: http://www.ccprcentre.org/doc/OP1/Decisions/102/1876%202009%20France_en.pdf
"UNITED SIKHS is heartened by the Committee's observations that France is under an obligation to provide Ranjit Singh with an effective remedy, including a reconsideration of his application for a renewal of his residence permit and a review of the relevant legislative framework and its application in practice. France, the Committee noted, is also under an obligation to take steps to prevent similar violations in the future," said Mejindarpal Kaur, UNITED SIKHS Legal Director, who addressed the media conference.
"We are very pleased with the views that the Committee adopted and we welcome France's compliance with these findings. We also look forward to a similar resolution for Shingara Singh, whose case is still pending before the Committee," O'Melveny & Myers, a New York law firm engaged by UNITED SIKHS, said in a statement through their attorneys who spoke during a telephone interview. A decision is awaited for Shingara Singh, whose passport has not been renewed by France because he refused to remove his turban for his ID photograph.
SOURCE UNITED SIKHS