UN free speech rapporteur told to watch his mouth

<b>Frank La Rue</b>: UN free expression hero

Frank La Rue: UN free expression hero

Frank la Rue, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to free expression, got a firm telling off by representatives of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in Geneva last week. His crime? To suggest that

Restrictions [on free speech] should never be used to protect particular institutions or abstract notions, concepts or beliefs, including religious ones.

And that

defamation of religions does not accord with international standards on freedom of expression

Enraged diplomats from Egypt (on behalf of the African Group), United Arab Emirates (on behalf of the Arab Group), Pakistan (on behalf of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference), and individual delegations such as Algeria, Egypt, Malaysia, Sudan and Yemen claimed that La Rue was overstepping the bounds of his mandate by saying such things.

Many of them threatened to have La Rue removed from his post if he did not conform to their interpretation of his mandate.

Roy Brown of the International Humanist and Ethical Union summed up,

Mr LaRue’s report was strongly supported in the Council by the United States, the United Kingdom and several NGOs who pointed out that under the terms of his mandate he was fully entitled to make recommendations to the Council and the UN without pressure or outside interference. It is becoming intolerable that some states, unable to win arguments on their merits are now stooping to such blatant bully-boy tactics.

Allah forbid that an officer responsible for the protection of freedom of expression should be free to express his support for freedom of expression!

(Tip – Article 19)

UPDATE: (June 9) Read Roy Brown’s full report here.

9 Responses to “UN free speech rapporteur told to watch his mouth”

  1. barriejohn says:

    I`m afraid I am not in the least bit optimistic about the future!

  2. pstryder says:

    Your gods will kill us all.

    Know gods, no peace. No gods, know peace.

  3. Oi, we need a link to what Roy Brown said.

  4. Ah, thanks Monitor – I tried Google and couldn’t find the right thing.

  5. Bryce says:

    To any muslims who may be offended by this: Fuck you and your batshit archaic ways of thinking. You people are childish and pathetic. If other peoples ideas and beliefs scar you so much, then don’t join or attempt to become part of modern civilization. Stay in the desert and let the rest of us live pleasant lives without you and your stupid religious sensibilities.

  6. That’s helpful.

  7. Hugh Kramer says:

    I don’t think Bryce’s contentious way of putting things is helpful either. True, I think the Islamic worldview is pretty medieval in nature but they don’t have to come all the way into the 21st century. I’d be happy if they made it as far as the 17th or 18th century when John Locke, Thomas Paine and other lights of humanism were defining how the rights of the individual within a civil society were more important than the demands of any group, be it majority or minority. In fact, it might behoove some of us in the West to remember that time too.

  8. Codswallop says:

    Stop! My irony meter can’t take this blatant abuse!