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UN affirms the human right to blaspheme

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“Having followed the debates on religion and freedom of expression at the United Nations over the last several years, I have become accustomed to passing on bad news, such as a decade of resolutions by the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly ‘combating the defamation of religions,’” writes Austin Dacey in Religion Dispatches.

“Now that there is some good news, almost no one has noticed.”

Dacey is a representative to the United Nations for the International Humanist and Ethical Union and the author of The Secular Conscience: Why Belief Belongs in Public Life.

“Late last month, the UN issued a new statement on the extent of freedom of speech under international law. It says that laws restricting blasphemy as such are incompatible with universal human rights standards.

“The statement came from the Human Rights Committee, the body of eighteen “independent experts” mandated to monitor compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, or ICCPR, the 1966 human rights treaty that provides for freedom of opinion and expression and other fundamental rights. The Committee’s general comments represent authoritative interpretations of the provisions of the ICCPR. Unlike the highly-publicized resolutions produced by the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly, the provisions of the ICCPR are legally binding to its more than 165 parties.”

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Good thing that they do—it’s called “freedom of speech” in some places and I agree—it is a human right to either believe or not and to comment as such,whether complimenting or to blaspheme

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment j. regan

    Blasphemy is a sin. What is the matter with people who should know better.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment e. biondi

    Criticism of arrogant belief is necessary for a free and progressive world.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    In your eyes blaspheme is a “sin”, j.regan. That is not true on the eyes of others. Thus—human right.

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