Jeddah (UNA-OIC) – The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) welcomed the decision by the Sri Lankan government to end the compulsory cremation of Muslim victims of COVID-19 and allow their burial.
On more than one occasion, since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, and from the time a ban was first imposed on the burial of Muslim victims of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka, the OIC General Secretariat with Secretary-General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen – as its head – called on Sri Lankan authorities to stop compulsorily cremating of Muslims dying of novel coronavirus, and to allow their burial as per rituals in the Muslim faith.
For his part, the OIC chief addressed concerns over the issue of the cremation of bodies of COVID-19 Muslim victims in Sri Lanka to the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on February 23.
While commending the Sri Lankan authorities’ response, following petition and calls led by the OIC for an end to the mandatory cremation of Muslim victims of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka, the OIC reiterates unrelenting dedication to follow up on the situation and uphold the interests of Muslim communities and minorities in non-member countries.
The Jeddah-based OIC General Secretariat expressed the hope that the Sri Lankan government’s decision to lift the ban on the burial of coronavirus victims would help preserve the rights of Muslims in the South Asian country.