Lars Vilks

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Roy Brown støtter Vilks Komiteen

Roy_BrownlilleA LETTER FROM THE HUMAN RIGHTS SPECIALIST ROY BROWN – SCROLL DOWN FOR ENGLISH VERSION

Den britiske menneskerettigheds forkæmper Row Brown har sendt Vilks komiteen dette brev som støtte til komiteens arbejde:

“Til Vilks-komiteen,

Verden burde vide, at ytringsfriheden er beskyttet af international lov. Artikel 19 og 20 i FN’s menneskerettighedserklæring, udfærdiget mens Holocaust endnu var intakt i vores erindring, sætter meget klare grænser for, hvordan opfordring til had og vold kan bekæmpes.

Der findes ingen ret til ikke at blive provokeret eller udsat for kritik. Mange af os bliver provokeret hver eneste dag af mediernes og internettets fremstilling af det ene eller det andet. Men provokation er ingen gyldig grund til at begrænse ytringsfriheden.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) har i årevis i FN’s menneskerettighedsråd bekæmpet forsøget på at indskrænke ytringsfriheden, såsom når Organisationen af Islamiske Stater (IOC) vil kriminalisere ”blasfemi” og agter at indføre en såkaldt ny standard for ytringsfrihed, dvs. reelt begrænse ytringsfriheden, sådan som vi kender den i international lov.

I en skelsættende beslutning af 21. juli 2011 forsvarede FN’s menneskerettighedskomité (som er FN’s højeste autoritet på området) de nuværende rammer for ytringsfrihed i international lov og afviste at indføre flere og nye begrænsninger.

Med denne afgørelse, som harmonerer med IHEUI’s målsætninger, argumenterede Komiteen for, at ytringsfrihed er en ”meta-rettighed”, som understøtter alle andre rettigheder og friheder. Komiteens rapport kan læses her

Ytringsfrihed, mine damer og herrer, er vores mest værdifulde frihed, eftersom den går forud for alle andre rettigheder og friheder. Hvordan skulle vi kunne modsætte os korruption, ulighed, dumhed eller tyranni – uden ytringsfrihed? Eller beskrive, hvad vi opfatter som latterligt eller hyklerisk? Hvordan skulle vi i det hele taget diskutere vor tids mest brændende spørgsmål uden retten til at ytre os frit? Vi må forsvare det frie marked, for så vidt angår ideer, herunder retten til at provokere.

Vi må modsætte os ethvert forsøg på at begrænse ytringsfriheden udover de gældende rammer i FN’s menneskerettighedserklæring, uanset om det sker på vegne af en regering eller religiøse ledere.

Det er vores civilisations fremtid, der står på spil.

(Oversat af Mikael Jalving)

Roy W Brown
IHEU Main Representative, United Nations, Geneva

“To the Vilks Committee

Ladies and Gentlemen

The world should recognise that the limits to freedom of expression are already well-drawn in international law. Articles 19 and 20 of the ICCPR, drafted while the memory of the Holocaust was still fresh in our minds, set out very clear limits to what can be permitted if incitement to hatred and violence are to be effectively combated.

There is no human right not to be offended. Many of us are offended every day by misrepresentation and falsehood in the media and on the Internet. Merely giving offence can never be used as justification for limiting freedom of expression.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) have campaigned long and hard at the UN  Human Rights Council in Geneva against attempts led by the Organisation of Islamic States to tighten restrictions on freedom of expression, such as making defamation of religion (blasphemy) a crime under international law and by introducing “complementary standards” i.e. additional limits, to freedom of expression.

In a landmark ruling on 21 July 2011 the UN Human Rights Committee (the highest UN authority on the interpretation of international human rights law) strongly defended the current limits to freedom of expression enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the internationally binding version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In a ruling that closely echoes the position taken by IHEU on this issue, the Committee argued that Freedom of Expression is a ‘meta-right’ which underpins all of our other rights and freedoms.

Summarising the Committee statement, Reuters reported:

“By implication, the committee waded into a debate raging since [the 21 July] killings in Norway by an anti-immigrant extremist over whether public or media criticism of Muslim practices, dubbed by some “Islamophobia”, should be restricted.

“Rather, said the jurists — including four from Muslim states — it was “prohibitions on displays of lack of respect for a religion or other belief system, including blasphemy laws” that would violate “free speech” provisions in the 167-nation covenant.

“That stricture, they said, would also apply to any move “to prevent or punish criticism of religious leaders or commentary on religious doctrine and tenets of faith”.

The full 15 page report by the Committee can be found at: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/GC34.pdf

Freedom of Expression, Ladies and Gentlemen, is our most cherished freedom since it underpins all our other rights and freedoms. Without freedom of expression how are we to oppose corruption, inequality, stupidity, or tyranny, hold up to ridicule that which we see as ridiculous, or to debate some of the most important issues facing humanity today?  We must maintain the free market in ideas, including the right to give offence.

Any attempt by governments or religious leaders to restrict Freedom of Expression beyond the limits set by the ICCPR must be opposed. The future of civilisation itself is at stake.”

Roy W Brown
IHEU Main Representative, United Nations, Geneva                                                                                                    12 December 2012

                              12 December 2012

One comment on “Roy Brown støtter Vilks Komiteen

  1. Pingback: Steun voor Lars Vilks | AmsterdamPost – De keerzijde van het nieuws

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