PEN International Writers in Prisons Conference 24-26 March 2011.
On Saturday 26/03/2011 Emer Liston , Irish PEN delegate to the WiPC conference in
Brussels, addressed the issue of Irish Pen’s Campaign to abolish Ireland’s Blasphemy
Law. The delegation unanimously voted to support Irish PEN’s campaign , and PEN
International pledged to write a letter to that effect. Norwegian PEN and Larry Siems,
from American PEN , also spoke on the need to stop any move to protect against
religious defamation at UN level , thus was identified the direct correlation between
Irish PEN’s campaign and International and Norwegian PEN’s campaigns.
On Sunday March 27 2011, Larry Siems received a notification that the UN would
not support any protection for religious defamation, Irish PEN awaits further
correspondence from PEN International, specifically from Frank Geary, an Irish
national and PEN International official based in London and who has a specific wish
to help with this campaign.
Writers Hail UN Accord Ending Push to Ban Blasphemy.
New York City, March 30, 2011—PEN American Center today praised the U.N. Human Rights Council for ending efforts to restrict speech considered offensive to religions, calling the Council’s recent unanimous vote on a religious tolerance resolution “a vital affirmation of the inextricably-linked rights of freedom of expression and religion.
“We are delighted that the OIC has come to share our view that in the necessary work of building mutual respect between the world’s religious traditions, the criminalization of speech about a religion—however offensive to its adherents—would have been an unhelpful step,” PEN President Kwame Anthony Appiah said today in New York. “This is especially so because incitement to violence on any basis, including religion, is already exempt from the wide protections for freedom of expression in international law.”
Writers Hail U.N Accord Ending Push to Ban Blasphemy
Urgent Need for Constitutional Referendum on Blasphemy