World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN Bans "Defamation of Religion"

UN Bans "Defamation of Religion" in Islamic Bid to Curb Free Speech

But advocacy campaign reduces support from 108 to 85 votes

Geneva, November 24, 2008 - By a vote of 85 to 50, with 42 abstaining, the UN General Assembly today adopted a draft resolution calling on all countries to alter their legal and constitutional systems to prevent "defamation of religions," asserting that "Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism." Click here for GA draft resolution

The decision, sponsored by Islamic states with the support of Venezuela and Belarus, drew immediate protests from human rights activists and legal experts.

"This is just the latest shot in an intensifying campaign of UN resolutions that dangerously seek to import Islamic anti-blasphemy prohibitions into the discourse of international human rights law," said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, an indpendent human rights monitoring group in Geneva.

"Human rights were designed to protect individuals -- to guarantee every person free speech and free exercise of religion -- but most certainly not to shield any set of beliefs, religion included."

"These resolutions legitimize the criminalization of free speech in countries like Sudan, Egypt, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia," said Neuer. "Muslim moderates, bloggers, women seeking basic freedoms -- all of these will be the first to suffer from the worsening climate of state repression in the name of state-supported Islamic orthodoxy."

"No less is today's enactment aimed at the Western world, to intimidate anyone from criticizing radical Islam and those who commit violence in its name," said Neuer.

Proponents of free speech celebrated one small victory, however.

Successful campaigning by an international human rights coalition, including the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and UN Watch, led to a decline in support for the resolution compared to last year's vote, which had garnered 108 in support, 51 against, and 25 abstentions.

The proposed draft declaration for the UN's April 2009 "Durban II" conference on racism includes numerous provisions on the "defamation" of Islam. Denmark has threatened to walk out if they are included.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 


$1 Billion In Reparations For Iraq's Invasion Of Kuwait

UN Panel Pays Out Over $1 Billion in Reparations for Iraq's Invasion of Kuwait More>>

UN-Backed Tsunami Warning System Test

A view of the destruction caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December 2004 in Point Pedro, a small fishing village in northern Sri Lanka. UN Photo/Evan Schneider More>>

Al Jazeera To Mark 300 Days Since Arrests Of Journalists

• 300 second montage to mark 300 days to be aired on Al Jazeera • Parents of Peter Greste say the past 300 days has been stressful Doha , 23 October, 2014 More>>

4 Months’ Jail For French Journos Should Be Enough

'We hope it will be a lesson for foreigners to not violate their visas in Indonesia.' More>>

Support Needed For Olive Farmers In Palestinian Territory

Olive trees in the Palestinian town of Ni'lin in 2008 were very close to expanding Israeli settlements. Photo: IRIN/Shabtai Gold More>>

ALSO:

Use Of Drones In Law Enforcement May Violate Human Rights

22 October 2014 – The increasing use of armed drones within domestic law enforcement risks depersonalizing the use of force and infringing upon the rights of individual citizens, a United Nations independent human rights expert warned today. More>>

Gaza: Pledges For Aid, Reconstruction Must Be Honoured

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Security Council President for the month of October, María Cristina Perceval of Argentina, is at ... More>>

Ebola: UN Prepares For Arrival Of Trial Vaccines

In early October 2014, with the help of the US Navy, a new mobile laboratory opened at Island Clinic, one of the WHO-supported Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: WHO/R. Sørenson More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news