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Sikh News Helsinki Commission To Investigate Turban Ban

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Neutral Singh, Nov 10, 2004.

  1. Neutral Singh

    Neutral Singh
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    Jun 1, 2004
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    Helsinki Commission To Investigate the French Turban Ban On The Recommendation

    Paris, France – UNITED SIKHS is pleased to announce that the United States
    Helsinki Commission, an independent federal agency that monitors and encourages
    the implementation of Helsinki Provisions, has urged the French Government to
    “rethink” its law which bans the wearing of ostensible religious signs to public
    schools and “make reasonable accommodations” for students who wear ostensible
    religious signs. Earlier this year, the French Government passed a law that bans
    the wearing of ostensible religious signs to public schools and requires a
    school to give the student a hearing before expelling him for wearing the
    religious signs.

    Commenting on the tragic expulsion of French Sikh schoolchildren from their
    schools for trying to follow the edicts of their religion, a fundamental and
    universal human right, Chairman Smith of the Helsinki Commission stated,
    “Expelling children is not the answer. Students attending public schools should
    not have to sacrifice their religious beliefs to enjoy the same educational
    opportunities as their follow classmates.”

    Over the last several months, UNITED SIKHS has met on several occasions with
    representatives of the Helsinki Commission and has provided continuous updates
    on the ban of religious articles of faith involving the Sikh community in
    France. UNITED SIKHS is encouraged with the bold stand the Helsinki Commission
    has made in light of seventeen Sikh students who were excluded from French
    schools for wearing turbans as required by the Sikh faith. Currently, UNITED
    SIKHS is working with attorneys to take legal action on behalf of those
    seventeen Sikh school children who were excluded from public schools because
    they refused to remove their turbans.

    In September, three Sikh students, Jasvir Singh, Bikramjit Singh and Ranjit
    Singh, were expelled from attending school without a hearing being held. In
    October, the three Sikh students were forced to go to an Administrative Tribunal
    to decide if they would be re-admitted or stay expelled from the Louise Michel
    School in Bobigny, a suburb of Paris.

    The French Tribunal, upon hearing the case of the Sikh schoolchildren, ordered
    the school to form a disciplinary committee to decide if it will admit or expel
    the three French Sikh schoolboys, ending a six-week stalemate since schools
    reopened in September. This decision will be made on November 5th. The judge
    explained that by not giving the schoolboys a right to a disciplinary hearing,
    the school had committed a “grave and serious attack” on the rights of the Sikh
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