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In June 2019, the Greek government repealed the long-standing criminalisation of the “malicious blasphemy of God” and of “the Greek Orthodox Church or any other religion tolerated in Greece”, two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

Mandatory declaration of religion breaches human rights, says EHF member NSS

Mandatory declaration of religion breaches human rights, says EHF member NSS Posted: Fri, 26 Jun 2020 The National Secular Society, a member of the...

European Humanist Professionals Newsletter (June 2020)

NEWSLETTER JUNE 2020   EDITORIAL  Neil AndersonChair of Commission-EHP Welcome to the Summer edition...

EHF at OSCE calls on 21+ European states to abolish blasphemy laws

Panayote Dimitras (right) at the OSCE meeting on Freedom of Expression on 22 June 2020 (left) Statement submitted by the European Humanist Federation...