April 01, 2011
United Nations Abandons Global Blasphemy Code
Listen to this week's podcast and learn more about the decision of the United Nations to abandon global blasphemy code. This move marks an important shift away from efforts at the U.N. to create an international blasphemy code, something that has for the past decade been supported by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Days before the new resolution passed, Human Rights First brought Shehrbano Taseer, the daughter of slain Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva to address delegations on the abuses of national blasphemy laws in Pakistan. Her presence at the Human Rights First-organized event helped turn the tide and move sentiments of diplomats away from the “defamation of religions” concept. In a recent report, we identified scores of cases that provide ample warning of the dangers of enacting a global blasphemy law. The study documents over 70 such cases in 15 countries where the enforcement of blasphemy laws have resulted in death sentences and long prison terms as well as arbitrary detentions, and have sparked assaults, murders, and mob attacks. Several of our recommendations were included in the resolution adopted last week. Podcast produced by Stephen Brownell.
Shehrbano Taseer at the Human Rights First-organized event in Geneva