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Religious Freedom and Human Rights

May 14, 2010

WINNIPEG, MB – Four international human rights experts from different faith backgrounds will travel to The University of Winnipeg on June 21, 2010 to address the relationship between religious freedom and the challenges we face in eliminating poverty, achieving peace and security and confronting the environmental crisis. The Human Rights and Religious Freedom Seminar is being held in conjunction with the World Religions Summit: Interfaith Leaders in the G8 Nations conference, which takes place June 21 to June 23, 2010.

Professor Payam Akhavan (McGill), Dr. Mishakat Al Moumin (of Women and the Environment, Washington DC) Professor Janet Epp Buckingham (Trinity), and Professor Gerry Gall (Alberta), will explore religious freedom and fundamental human rights through the lens of the millennium goals that the G8 Interfaith Leaders Summit will address: the elimination of poverty, creating a sustainable environment, and establishing peace and security. The seminar will be moderated by Dr. Redwan Moqbel (Manitoba).

Panelists will look at current concerns about the relationship between religious freedom and freedom of expression, women's rights, minority rights, environmental rights and other social, cultural and economic rights, in light of efforts to impose barriers to religious freedom based on claims about public order and the defamation of religion.

Human Rights and Religious Freedom Seminar is open to the public but requires registration. To register please go to:

WHEN: Monday, June 21, 2010
9:00 am to 3:00 pm

WHERE: Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall
3d floor Centennial Hall
The University of Winnipeg

“Surely, there is no human right more important than the right to freedom of religion and belief,” said moderator, Dr. Redwan Moqbel. ”Closely related to freedom of conscience, freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, religious freedom has played a central role in the establishment of modern international human rights. Our dialogue in Winnipeg will allow us to share insights across faiths with the goal of creating a more nurturing and sustainable world for all.”

Dr. Mishkat Al Moumin - The former Minister of the Environment in the interim Iraqi government and recent Futrell Visiting Scholar at the Environmental Law Institute, Mishkat Al Moumin is a well-known Iraqi lawyer and a lecturer of human rights in University of Baghdad.
Gerald L. Gall - Professor Gerald Gall teaches constitutional law and foundations to law at the University of Alberta. He is currently the President and Chair of the Board of Directors of the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights.
Payam Akhavan- McGill University, Faculty of Law - Professor Akhavan teaches and researches in the areas of public international law, international criminal law and transitional justice, with a particular interest in human rights and multiculturalism, war crimes prosecutions, UN reform and the prevention of genocide.

Dr. Janet Epp Buckingham - is an associate professor at Trinity Western University and the Director of the Laurentian Leadership Centre. Her research area is religious freedom in Canada and internationally.

Dr. Redwan Moqbel – Moderator - obtained his BSc in Baghdad, Iraq and MSc and PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, UK. Dr Moqbel is the Head of the Department of Immunology, University of Manitoba. He has also been very involved in discourses and studies related to human rights and religious freedom at different national and international levels.

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For detailed information and to obtain Media Accreditation to the World Religions Summit – Interfaith Leaders in the G8 Nations conference visit


Diane Poulin, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
P: 204.988.7135. E:

Dr Gerald Filson: 416.587.0632. E:

Dr Redwan Moqbel 204. 509. 6020 (after June 9, 2010)

For more information contact:
Diane Poulin
Phone: 204-988-7135

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University of Winnipeg


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