Maldives COVID burial plan ‘will marginalise Sri Lankan Muslims’

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A United Nations human rights expert has denounced Maldives’s announcement it was considering burials for Sri Lankan Muslims who die of COVID-19, saying such a move “could end up enabling the further marginalisation of Muslim communities in Sri Lanka”.

Wednesday’s statement from Ahmed Shaheed, the UN’s special rapporteur on freedom of belief, comes amid intensifying criticism of a government rule in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka that mandated anyone who dies of COVID-19 must be cremated – a practice forbidden in Islam.