Blasphemy laws in Greece make new victims
In June 2012, three actors were briefly arrested and later charged for blasphemy after taking part in a play in Athens. Their case raised high concerns of the European Humanist Federation (EHF) and its fellow Greek partner the Greek Helsinki Monitor. Both organisations issued a statement and wrote an open letter to the Greek Minister of Justice calling the Greek government to abolish blasphemy laws.
After a parliamentary debate on the issue, the Greek government stated that they will not amend the law. As a consequence of this status quo, on September 24, a young Facebook user was also arrested under the same charges after mocking a Greek Orthodox monk on the social network. In order to protest against this new violation of the principle of Freedom of Speech the Humanist Union of Greece, an EHF Greek member, launched a petition demanding the immediate release of the accused and urging the Greek Parliament to abolish blasphemy laws.
I just signed the following petition addressed to: greek parliament.
Free ‘GeronPastitsios’ and abolish Greek anti-blasphemy laws!
A bitter blow for freedom of expression in Greece: 27 year old internet user was arrested and charged for blasphemy because he ran a facebook page that satirised a renown Greek Orthodox monk.
We, the citizens of the world and advocates for free speech, demand the immediate release of the accused and we urge the Greek Parliament to abolish the Greek anti-blasphemy laws.
If Greece wishes to be a part of the modern globalized world it must adhere to the standards and principles of a free nation where its people have the right to have a free and open dialogue about all subjects. Discussion, debate, and action are the basic building blocks of a free society.