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Parliamentary questions
PDF 102kWORD 26k
28 January 2014
E-000836-14
Question for written answer E-000836-14
to the Commission
Rule 117
Sophia in 't Veld (ALDE) , Renate Weber (ALDE) , Joanna Senyszyn (S&D)

 Subject:  Blasphemy laws in the EU
 Answer in writing 

Greek national Filippos Loizos has been sentenced to 10 months in prison for creating a Facebook page mocking a Greek Orthodox monk. He was charged with insulting religion and malicious blasphemy(1).

Paragraph 32(b) of the EU guidelines on freedom of religion or belief, adopted in 2013, make it clear that the EU defends freedom of expression and opposes blasphemy laws throughout the world.

With regard to the principle of subsidiarity, does the Commission think that the EU calling for the abolition of blasphemy laws in third countries when some Member States still have and use blasphemy laws is a case of double standards?

Does the Commission believe that the EU’s promotion of freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief in the world is undermined by the fact that some Member States are currently prosecuting and imprisoning people for blasphemy?

Is the Commission of the opinion that blasphemy laws violate the principle of freedom of expression?

(1)http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/17/facebook-page-mocking-greek-orthodox-monk-jail-blasphemy

 OJ C 296, 03/09/2014
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