ICLA delivers report on violations of civil liberties in Europe
The Baron from the Gates of Vienna reports:
“The OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) is meeting in Warsaw this week, and once again the International Civil Liberties Alliance
is on hand to remind the other organizations represented there what liberty is all about.
This week’s emphasis is on implementing the “Human Dimension”, and yesterday’s session focused on “Fundamental Freedoms”. In their presentation, ICLA representatives pointed out where fundamental freedoms are at risk in Europe, as civil liberties are being rolled back, restricted, erode, and destroyed in many member states of the OSCE.”
ICLA and allied organizations gather at OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting
Warsaw, 29 September, 2009
ICLA and its allied organizations Pax Europa, Mission Europa and Wiener Akademikerbund attended today’s sessions on Fundamental Freedoms — including Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion or Belief — as well as a follow-up to the Vienna Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting. The afternoon session included topics on Freedom of Assembly and Association, Freedom of Movement, and others.
In activities surrounding the meeting, ICLA and its allied organizations worked to contribute to the broader debate and attempted to foster understanding and mutual respect between the counterjihad and other interested parties and stakeholders in these important areas of concern. ICLA officially issued the following statement at the meeting:
Use of intimidation to curb civil liberties
Recent cases in the OSCE area
We are concerned about the increasing use of intimidation to curb the exercise of civil liberties in the OSCE area. This covers fundamental liberties such as freedom of movement, freedom of assembly and, not least, freedom of expression. Here we present recent cases on the matter, and our recommendations for political initiatives to counter this trend.
Modern, secular society was built with centuries of relevant criticism of religion, in particular by questioning religious authority. No form of intimidation can make us abandon our fundamental values of critical thinking and free speech. We expect our institutions and elected politicians to protect these, to take the relevant precautions as well as any risks involved in doing so.
Unfortunately, we are witnessing a slow but steady decline in the state of civil liberties. This decline is to a great extent due to intimidations, threats or even violence from non-state actors, aided and abetted by our police, courts and other authorities not standing up to the challenges. We need to identify the new challenges and adapt our approaches, so that we are able to counter repressive activity from non-state actors and loosely organized groups in order to preserve freedom and diversity.
Dr. Jussi Halla-aho is a Helsinki city councilman, a linguist with a PhD in Slavic studies, and a web columnist who maintains a very popular (and controversial) blog called Scripta. He is best known for being a consistent critic of the problems created by mass immigration and multicultural policies in Finland. After his December 2008 election to the city council of Helsinki, he was accused of ‘racist writings’, due to an article he had written about the increasing number of rape cases by immigrants against Finnish women.
The investigation was launched at the request of the Women’s organization of the Green Party, who filed a complaint concerning the last paragraph of text in a blog post of his, and sought the police to investigate to help determine whether the paragraph constitutes incitement to rape. This investigation was abolished on technical grounds. The court dismissed the charge of incitement to hatred against an ethnic group, but convicted and fined Dr.Halla-aho for “breaching the sanctity of religion” due to his critical articles about Islam.
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