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Some recent freedom of speech stories

Posted by James Hammerton @ 10:53 pm on 15 May, 2010.
Categories freedom of speech, British politics.
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Update: This story also highlights how far freedom of speech has been weakened. The police barged into a man’s house and handcuffed him in order to remove a poster he had up in his window calling David Cameron a “wanker”.

Freedom of speech was attacked by the previous Labour government in various ways, both of the following stories illustrates the legacy they’ve left on this issue:

A man was given an ASBO, community service and a suspended jail sentence for putting leaflets mocking Jesus, the Pope and Islam in an airport prayer room.

A christian preacher was arrested for claiming that homosexuality is a sin.

In both cases, it seems to me that merely saying something or distributing literature that someone takes offence to is being punished. I may disagree with the views being expressed here, but the individuals concerned should have the right to peacefully express those views to anyone willing to listen.

The new coalition government has promised to review libel laws to protect freedom of speech. They should also review the public order legislation to protect the right to peaceful expression of one’s views.

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