Freedom of Expression

Speech: Free and unfree

It’s great to be able to record a small victory for freedom of speech:

MPs have confirmed that a controversial public order law that criminalises “insulting” words or behaviour will be reformed to permit greater freedom of speech. The move follows the Government giving way on the issue last month, after a bruising vote in the House of Lords.

It’s less great to read the latest about the OIC:

The OIC is of the firm view that any religion or its symbols should not be denigrated. The Cairo Islamic Summit endorsed this position and tasked the OIC secretariat to develop a unified strategy to impress upon the international community to take effective measures against such acts of incitement of intolerance and hatred that may lead to violence and loss of lives,” he said while noting that Islamophobia figured high on the agenda of the summit.

“This international law is sufficient to cover OIC’s concern but the problem is either a gap of interpretation because of political reasons or a gap of implementation. Though this law is binding on all countries that signed and ratified the article, it is not effectively transposed to the domestic laws of the respective countries. The OIC is exerting efforts to get it enforced globally through the framework of the OIC-sponsored UN Human Rights Council resolution number 16/18, which is an outcome of the Istanbul Process.”

Among the many people suffering where such laws are enforced is the pianist Fazil Say, on trial for blasphemy in Turkey.  

 Hat Tips: Steve Hynd and Fasdunkle

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