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Parliamentary questions
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17 December 2019
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Martin Horwood, Nathalie Loiseau, Barbara Ann Gibson, Sophia in 't Veld, Ellie Chowns, Jan-Christoph Oetjen, Lucy Nethsingha, Antony Hook, Sheila Ritchie, Caroline Voaden, Marisa Matias, Milan Brglez, Erik Marquardt, Moritz Körner, Molly Scott Cato, Dimitrios Papadimoulis
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Laws against blasphemy and religious insult

Several Member States have anti-blasphemy and religious insult laws, with sanctions ranging from fines to a prison sentence.

The existence of these laws in the EU legitimises their use in countries where the death penalty is imposed for such offences.

The Council of Europe, the Venice Commission and the European Parliament have all expressed criticism of blasphemy laws and indicated their support for the decriminalisation of such offences.

At the 2010 UN Human Rights Council forum on the defamation of religion, the EU’s representative stated that the concept of defamation should not fall under human rights because it conflicts with the right to freedom of expression.

Does the Commission consider these laws to be compatible with the fundamental EU values enshrined in the Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights?

How will it ensure that laws against blasphemy and religious insult do not restrict freedom of expression, dignity and respect for human rights?

Will it call on the Member States in which laws against blasphemy and religious insult remain in force to decriminalise these offences?

Original language of question: DE
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