Outgoing governor of Jakarta sentenced to two years for “blasphemy”

The outgoing governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, usually known as ‘Ahok’, has been sentenced to two years in jail for criminal “blasphemy”.

The governor of the capital city of Indonesia, world’s most populous Muslim country, had previously been highly popular. But he was due to stand down later in 2017 after having lost the governorship election last month, following a vicious campaign against him for alleged “blasphemy”.

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Stephen Fry named in criminal blasphemy investigation in Ireland

A police investigation has been announced into an interview segment on RTÉ, the public service broadcaster of the Republic of Ireland, which featured the British comedian and actor Stephen Fry.

Ireland passed a new “blasphemy” law in 2009, making it the only developed country to have introduced “blasphemy” as a criminal offence in the twenty-first century.

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Greece quashes charges in pasta-based “blasphemy” case

The man at the centre of the pasta-based Facebook “blasphemy” trial in Greece, has had his suspended 10-month prison sentence quashed in the appeals court.

However, the conviction was quashed only due to an administrative process aimed at clearing out “misdemeanor” crimes that had taken too long to process. The court reportedly activated article 8 of law 4411/2016 which cancels misdemeanors committed up until March 31, 2016.

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Greece must uphold pledge to abolish “blasphemy”

More than 50 secular and human rights groups, including numerous members of our International Coalition Against Blasphemy Laws, have joined the Humanist Union of Greece in demanding that Greece uphold the pledges of consecutive governments and finally end “blasphemy” law in Greece. Continue reading »

Stop Victim Blaming: Take Action Against Violence

There have been a string of brutal killings against those who are said to have “blasphemed” or have shared political and religious views that are contrary to the views held by the Islamic extremists perpetrating the attacks. Human rights groups are fighting back – but it’s an uphill struggle against the a political culture that blames the victims themselves! Continue reading »

The week in “blasphemy” news #40

Pakistan’s glimmers of hope and long-term challenges, Australia’s billboard self-censorship, and Nigeria’s warning against “false” ‘blasphemy’ accusations. In India, Sikh protesters demand use of the country’s ‘blasphemy’ law. In Russia, the Kremlin hits out at Charlie Hebdo. In Egypt, intellectuals hit out at “blasphemy” laws! And in Mexico it’s Day of the Dead, to the ire of the Vatican.

Our 40th round-up of blasphemy news and views from around the world. Continue reading »