Fact Check: European laws DO NOT respect freedom of speech

In relation to the terrorist attacks in France, keep in mind that in Europe, insults to religions are illegal and/or prosecuted in: Finland (Blasphemy), Germany (“Insulting of Faiths … if it could disturb public peace”), Greece and Italy, (Insults against religions), Poland (insults to religious feeling of the Roman Catholic Church), Spain ( “vilification” of religious “feelings”, “dogmas”, “beliefs” or “rituals”) Switzerland (insult or mockery of religious convictions of others) Iceland (blasphemy), Austria (Vilification of Religious Teachings), Denmark (Blasphemy, but the law is dormant), Norway(insults based on religion but few prosecutions); Ireland (Blasphemy), Russia (insulting religious beliefs) UK (Incitement of religious hatred often used to prosecute speech of anti-religious nature). And I’m sure there are others I couldn’t find.

This is a good time for all countries to remove these laws and any other laws that restrict free speech. Courageous cartoonists died to protect these freedoms in France. Nobody should police free speech, not the government and certainly not easily offended extremists with guns

4 Comments

  1. In France itself one can be prosecuted for telling the truth (not lying – telling the truth) about public figures – scandals are thus kept “private”.

    Freedom of speech, far from being a world thing, seems to be an American thing – the United States and….. err and….. well no country I can think of.

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  2. Hear, hear. I cringed when I heard Cameron bleating on about protecting freedom of speech. Channel 4 has a policy of not ‘showing’ Charlie Hebdo. A journalist on the news, i forget his name, stated, I think correctly, that terrorism ‘works’. After these latest murders there will be less commenting on Islam…
    News reports also suggest there is a trade off between freedom and security -this is a false premise, we are so far down the slippery slope!

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  3. Of course, should Mr Cameron wish to avail himself of freedom of speech, he may, as an MP, use Parliamentary privilege under the Bill of Rights, which provides for absolute freedom of speech in proceedings in Parlyament, which implicitly accepted that in Great Britain, there was not freedom of speech at that time, and nothing has extended it since.

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