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Exclusion: who decides — and on what grounds? Hizb ut-Tahrir and the HDIM

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In 2006, the British wing of an international Islamist organisation called Hizb ut-Tahrir (Arabic for 'Party of Liberation') was excluded by the Belgian Chairmanship from the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw. The delegation of the British Hizb ut-Tahrir, according to their press statement, had wanted to update participants on the deteriorating situation in Central Asia. In this part of the OSCE area, governments regard Hizb ut-Tahrir as a terrorist organisation and have jailed hundreds of its (suspected) members and sympathisers. In most other OSCE member states, however, Hizb ut-Tahrir is not on any list of terrorist groups and can freely operate. This article focuses on this particular group and incident, but also aims to shed some light on the following basic question regarding the exclusion of NGOs from OSCE human dimension meetings: 'who decides — and on what grounds?'. After a brief overview of the criteria for access to the HDIM and the characteristics of the party in question, this article focuses on the (not very transparent) decision of the Belgian Chairmanship and its wider implications for the HDIM and other OSCE human dimension meetings.

Affiliations: 1: Head of the Security and Conflict Programme of the Clingendael Institute


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