[NetBehaviour] Free Expression Assault Continues at UN Human Rights Council.

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Mon Mar 30 12:36:59 CEST 2009

Free Expression Assault Continues at UN Human Rights Council.

Freedom House condemns the UN Human Rights Council for undermining the 
universal right to freedom of expression by once again passing a 
resolution that urges members to adopt laws outlawing criticism of 

The "defamation of religions" resolution, introduced by Pakistan on 
behalf of the Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC), passed 
today by a vote of 23-11, with 13 abstentions. Muslim nations have been 
introducing similar resolutions since 1999, arguing that Islam-the only 
religion specifically cited in the text-must be shielded from unfair 
associations with terrorism and human rights abuses.

"These countries are using the UN to expand and bring legitimacy to 
their frontal assault on freedom of expression," said Paula Schriefer, 
Freedom House advocacy director. "This assault starts at the level of 
domestic blasphemy laws present in many OIC countries, which are 
routinely employed to harass and imprison religious minorities, 
political dissenters and human rights advocates, and is elevated to the 
international level through resolutions at the UN."


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