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WPFC strongly critical of proposal on "defamation of religion"

(WPFC/IFEX) - The following is an abridged version of a 2 October 2008 WPFC press release:

WPFC ISSUES STATEMENT ON PROPOSAL TO CURTAIL SPEECH IN THE NAME OF 'PROTECTING RELIGION'

Reston, USA, Oct. 2, 2008 - The World Press Freedom Committee ( www.wpfc.org ) - an umbrella organization representing 45 press freedom groups throughout the world - issued a strongly worded statement criticizing a discussion topic that is to begin today that would curtail freedom of religion. This meeting will occur today at an experts' seminar under the auspices of the Geneva-based United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

It is the strong view of the WPFC that this proposal - presented under the guise of "defamation of religion" and introduced by the 57-member-state Organization of the Islamic Conference - constitutes an unacceptable attempt to curtail freedom of expression throughout the world, especially in countries that lack an official religion.

"Recent discussions of 'Defamation of Religion'," reads the WPFC statement, "have assumed that freedom of expression is simply one value to be balanced among many others, and specifically that, in matters of religion, it can properly be limited if a significant number of people would otherwise be angered or offended by it. That view, however, is totally unacceptable to many member states, for which freedom of expression is central to their entire system of governance."

For the complete press release, see: http://www.wpfc.org/PRCurtailSpeech10208.html

Updates alert on "defamation of religion" proposal: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/96938

Latest Tweet:

Roumanie : "Des ordres ont-ils été donnés pour empêcher les journalistes de faire leur travail ?" https://t.co/aOgRWeduZ0 @RSF_fr

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