“Human rights are attached to individuals, not to states or organized groups or ideas,” said International PEN President John Ralston Saul, who chaired the two-hour session entitled Faith and Free Speech: Defamation of Religions and Freedom of Expression. “When governments attempt to limit the rights of citizens, they are not seeking to protect faith or belief. They are seeking increased power over the citizenry.”
It worries me that the Irish Government sought to restrict free expression by introducing a blasphemy criminalisation into the Irish Statute on the 1st of January 2010 under the aegis of the 2006-2009 Defamation Bill and more so that this will not be reversed through Referendum until at least 2011. For information on the Blasphemy legislation in Ireland which sites Blasphemy in the ability to ‘Outrage’ please see the second attached link at the end of this piece.
Oh and of course Poethead has a search engine , into which Blasphemy can be entered , therein some links to the Irish situation and the wonderful Blasphemer’s Banquet , by Tony Harrison.
- Defamation and Religion , Press Release by International PEN
- Blasphemy In Ireland : ‘We use Defamation Laws to attack free speech’
- The 2006-2010 Defamation Bill #Ireland