The BHA has today welcomed news that support for a dangerous Human Rights Council resolution which claims that “defamation of religions is a serious affront to human dignity” is lower than in previous years. Although the non-binding resolution still passed, the majority voting for the resolution was significantly reduced compared with past votes on the issue.
The resolution, which was tabled by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Conference has been strongly criticised as an affront to freedom of speech as it seeks to engender respect for religious beliefs, rather than for individuals, and may be used to oppress religious minorities and non-religious individuals.
BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson said, ‘This resolution is tabled annually and it is concerning that it has passed once again. However, we welcome the fact that the majority has shifted from 23 states who voted for it last year down to 20 with 17 states voting against.
‘This may mean that the nature of this resolution, and the agenda behind it, is being more fully understood and that the vote next year may bring a different result.’
For further comment or information, please contact Andrew Copson, 020 7079 3583.
The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity representing the interests of the large and growing population of ethically concerned, non-religious people living in the UK.