The EHF welcomes the withdrawal of the bill reintroducing the crime of blasphemy in Greece

The EHF welcomes the withdrawal of the bill reintroducing the crime of blasphemy in Greece

Posted on the 13/11/19

Earlier in November this year, the Greek Minister of Justice announced a project to reintroduce criminal sanctions for blasphemy. However, on 12 November the Government eventually renounced to its project, following public outcry by large parts of Greek civil society that showed a clear refusal of this criminalization of criticism and dissent.

The EHF pays tribute to the civic opposition that made it possible to prevent this anachronistic proposal from being adopted and welcomes the decision not to reintroduce blasphemy in the criminal code, which was a threat to the country’s great progress in ending criminalisation of blasphemy.

In June 2019, the Greek government repealed the long-standing criminalisation of the “malicious blasphemy of God” and of “the Greek Orthodox Church or any other religion tolerated in Greece”, two blasphemy articles in its Criminal Code. This was a crucial step for freedom of expression in the country as expressed by the European Humanist Federation back then.

The EHF reaffirms its commitment to freedom of expression, including the right to criticise or mock religious dogmas, beliefs and institutions. It recalls that “blasphemy” and “insult to religion” laws contravene freedom of expression and are in violation of the international human rights framework.


Other latest news

European Parliament asserts right not to believe, right to apostasy and not to profess any religion

The European Humanist Federation welcomes the principled defence of freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief by the European Parliament. ...

2020 Science Calendar in Spain: an initiative driven by Europa Laica

First in Romania, then in Scotland, now in Spain. Across Europe, members of the European Humanist Federation replicate the yearly Science Calendar project...

The EHF welcomes the removal of blasphemy from statute law in Ireland

A few days before the start of the year 2020, Ireland suppressed blasphemy and related offenses from its laws. The European Humanist Federation warmly...