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News Posted on June 10, 2016

Professor Bennoune's UN Mission to Cyprus Draws Media Coverage

Professor Karima Bennoune, acting in her capacity as United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, delivered a report criticizing the efforts of Turkish Cypriot authorities to restrict religious activities in ethnically split Cyprus, drawing coverage from media including the Associated Press, Ekathimerini, Cyprus Mail, and Greek Reporter.

"I am deeply concerned about the possible violations of cultural rights and the rights of religious freedom that may result from any such restriction," said Bennoune, who delivered remarks on June 2 at the end of a fact-finding mission to Cyprus.

Bennoune's report was also critical of government attempts to restrict access to cultural sites including cemeteries and mosques.  "Carrying out politics via restrictions on cultural rights is entirely unacceptable," said Bennoune.

Karima Bennoune is an author, lecturer, teacher, and international law scholar as well as the first Arab-American to be honored with the Derrick A. Bell Award from the Section on Minority Groups of the Association of American Law Schools. In 2014, she was awarded the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for her book Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight against Muslim Fundamentalism, now available in paperback from W.W. Norton & Company. In October 2015, she was appointed UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights.  She was recently presented with the 2016 Rights and Leadership Award by IANGEL, the International Action Network for Gender Equity & Law.