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

 

Newly-Detected Bird Flu In Southeast Asia

Newly-Detected Bird Flu in Southeast Asia Poses Threat to Animal Health, People’s Livelihoods More>>

UN: Accountability For Israel Vital For Peace

A young girl walks through a severely damaged street in Gaza. Photo: UNICEF/Eyad El Baba More>>

Afghanistan: UN Welcomes Conclusion Of Presidential Election

Pictured left to right: Jan Kubis, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Afghanistan, and presidential candidates Dr.Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. Photo: Fardin Waezi/UNAMA More>>

ALSO:

UN Rights Chief: Sinking Of Mediterranean Migrant Boat Amounts To Mass Murder

Syrian refugees are rescued in the Mediterranean Sea, but others are not so fortunate. Photo: UNHCR/A. D'Amato More>>


UN Mission: Advance Team For Ebola Response Arrives In West Africa

These children in Kailahun district, Sierra Leone, survived Ebola but lost parents to the deadly virus. Photo: UNICEF/Jo Dunlop More>>

UN: Leonardo Dicaprio New UN Messenger Of Peace

Pictured left to right: United Nations Messenger of Peace, Leonardo DiCaprio and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Mark Garten More>>

UN: 'Shocked And Saddened' By Vaccination Deaths In Syria

A Syrian boy gets his measles jab in Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. Photo: UNICEF/Jordan-2013/ Alaa Malhas More>>

UN: Announces Mission To Combat Ebola

Ebola outbreak: a peacekeeper with the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) wears a protective mask while on duty at UN offices in the capital city of Monrovia. UN Photo/Andrey Tsarkov More>>


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news