Short Note: An unfair judgment on the European court of human rights

The Guardian released today an interesting article called:  “An unfair judgment on the European court of human rights”. The article discusses that, far from threatening national sovereignty, the Court is a catalyst speeding up existing movements for change. It is also interesting to see that the article mentions  issues that have been recently examined in this … Continue reading

Freedom of Religion and the Dutch Political Context

SPECIAL GUEST POST FROM FRIEND OF HUMAN RIGHTS FORUM, SILVIE ZONDERLAND. SILVIE IS CURRENTLY AN INTERN AT THE EQUAL TREATMENT COMMITTEE IN THE NETHERLANDS. (Obviously, the views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Equal Treatment Committee) On March 15, 2011, Dutch liberal politician Jeanine … Continue reading

A Tale of Two Courts – Part three: The Track of a Storm

As I mentioned in the previous post the Grand Chamber overturned the earlier decision. The decision of the Grand Chamber was, however, quite contradictory. The Court considered that “the crucifix is above all a religious symbol. The domestic courts came to the same conclusion and in any event the Government have not contested this. The … Continue reading

A Tale of Two Courts – Part two: The Reactions to the Lautsi v. Italy Chamber Judgment

As I said in the previous post, it seems evident that there is a violation of the right to freedom of religion in the Lautsi case. Primary education is compulsory in Italy; therefore the kids are exposed daily to a religious symbol that can be against their beliefs. It is important to remember that the … Continue reading

A Tale of Two Courts – Part One: Understanding Lautsi v. Italy

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it … Continue reading

‘Tis the season to be jolly?

It’s that time of year again. The time for giving and receiving, for enjoying the company of family and friends, and perhaps for some reflection on another year gone by. The holiday season, whether you call it Christmas or Festivus is not important, is a time for many people to celebrate the birth of Jesus … Continue reading

Another victim of blasphemy law

Pakistani Christian woman appeals over death sentence Asia Bibi is believed to be the first woman sentenced to death under Pakistan’s blasphemy law. Her husband told the BBC her conviction was based on “false accusations”. Although no-one has ever been executed under the law, about 10 accused have been murdered before the completion of their … Continue reading

Faith and Free Speech: Defamation of Religions and Freedom of Expression

I found a good discussion on the subject of freedom of religion and freedom of expression that is worthy to share. It is a video of a PEN International event that took place on 16 September 2010 in Geneva. In the video one can watch a panel discussion with Dr. Agnes Callamard, director, ARTICLE 19 (UK), … Continue reading

I thought about fire

(Picture from the independent.co.uk) Recently, freedom of speech has been headlining many newspapers around the world. The most notorious case was that of Florida pastor Terry Jones, who had threatened to publicly burn copies of the Koran. The pastor drew attention of the whole world because he was organizing the international “Burn a Koran Day” … Continue reading

Build a mosque, burn a bridge?

It is with great regret that I write this first entry not with hope for a brighter future, but rather with fear of a societal regression. The controversy that has erupted over the proposed construction of an Islamic community centre in the vicinity of Ground Zero in New York risks pushing us back into the … Continue reading