Humanists UK called upon member states to abolish blasphemy laws and recognise the right to express religious dissent or criticism as a central tenet of the right to freedom of expression at the 41st session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Humanists UK, which is a founding member of the End Blasphemy Laws campaign, highlighted the ongoing campaign of persecution against the non-religious in Egypt, which has continued since the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood-supported Mohamed Morsi Government in 2013.
Humanists UK’s representative Farah Mohammed stated, ‘In 2014, the [Egyptian] Ministry of Youth began a media campaign aimed at ‘eradicating’ atheism. Since then there has been a dramatic increase in the number of arrests and convictions for blasphemy, as well as government intimidation of known atheists. We are particularly concerned by proposals put before Egyptian lawmakers last year to introduce legislation to make atheism a criminal offense with severe punishments for offenders.’
She continued ‘Human Rights Watch has called this campaign a ‘coordinated government crackdown on perceived atheists’ who are one of Egypt’s least protected minorities, and the campaign was described by The New York Times in 2014 as ‘Egypt’s war on Atheism’.
For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK press manager Casey-Ann Seaniger at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 7324 3078.
Read Humanists UK’s intervention: https://humanism.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019-06-17-FM-intervention-item-4-General-debate-.pdf
Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by over 85,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.