Archive for the ‘Freedom of speech’ Category

Overzealous Bern Police come to aid Saudi Tyranny Regime

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

Bern. On Frieday, 12h June 2015 six individuals placed themselves in front of the Saudi Embassy in Bern and held up a banner with the following message:


The protest was purposely carried out as a silent vigil, as it targeted the ambassador and his staff, not the local residents, and was a reaction to last week’s decision by the Saudi High Court against Raif Badawi. The flogging of the Saudi human rights activist is now likely to continue, and he was expected to receive the second round of lashes on Friday.

After less than 15 minutes four members of the Embassy protection unit of the Bernese Police appeared with two vehicles, demanded the “illegal demonstration” to end, registered the six protesters and confiscated the banner – a wholly disproportionate intervention.

The Swiss Freethinkers, who organised the vigil, are disappointed that the assumed desideratum of the Saudi ambassador, not to be incommodated by unpopular expressions of opinion was given more weight than the right of free speech of members of the public. The Freethinkers will examine the lawfulness of the acts of the Embassy protection unit, particularly the confiscation of property, not least because in Bern the right of freedom of expression, including the right to demonstrate had been violated in an unconstitutional manner repeatedly in the past. (See reports in German by and Berner Zeitung).

Paris: 4 cartoonists including chief editor shot dead – in the name of the prophet

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Saudi Arabia: Release Raif Badawi!

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

The Swiss Freethinkers have learned with indignation of the increased criminal sanctions imposed against the Saudi liberal blogger Raif Badawi: ten years in prison, 1000 lashes and a fine of 1 million rials, for “insulting Islam.”

Saudi Arabia is a key part of the Western system of alliances in the region. Its allies do not burden themselves with the task of questioning this theocracy and its medieval practices.

In fact, the pronounced decree threatens all shades of freedom of expression since it considers as “terrorists” not only atheists, but also all those who dare to question the fundamentals of Islam as they form the basis of the Wahhabi monarchy.

FAS has contacted the President of the Confederation and the Swiss diplomacy and has urged them to interfere for freedom of speech in Saudi Arabia in general and for freedom for Raif Badawi.

Read also:

US: “Savage” ads on Muni stir debate

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency, Muni, has been under fire for accepting ads referring to Arabs and Muslims as “savage” that were placed by anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller. The ads declare that “in any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man”—a paraphrase of an Ayn Rand quote—while also urging readers to “support Israel” and “defeat jihad.” If Muni had rejected the ads, however, it likely would have violated Geller’s First Amendment rights; when New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority tried to block Geller’s ads last year, Geller sued, and in July a judge later declared the agency’s ad policy unconstitutional.

ECHR: Prohibition of a poster campaign for the Raelian Movement acceptable

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

The European Court shared the Swiss Federal Court’s view that to allow the posters to be displayed might have given the impression that the authorities approved of or tolerated the opinions and conduct in question. It therefore accepted that the authorities had a wide discretion in assessing whether it was necessary to ban the campaign.

Although it was undisputed that the poster in question did not contain anything unlawful or shocking, either in its wording or in the illustrations, it nevertheless featured the association’s website address, which linked to the Clonaid site, where specific cloning services were on offer. The Court considered that it had to take into account the overall context in which the poster was to be viewed, in particular the ideas imparted by these websites and by the association’s publications. Consideration had to be given to modern means of disseminating information and to the fact that the websites in question were accessible to everyone, including children, and would have amplified the impact of a poster campaign.
The Court further observed that the Swiss authorities had given carefully reasoned decisions, taking into account the cloning services offered by the Clonaid company, the possible existence of sexually deviant practices involving under-age children and the threats to public order, safety and morals posed by “geniocracy” and the criticism of contemporary democracies. It considered that the accusations levelled by the Swiss authorities against certain members of the applicant association, concerning their sexual activities with minors, appeared particularly disturbing, and that the authorities had had sufficient grounds to deem it necessary to refuse permission to put up the posters. They ad also found in good faith that it was essential for the protection of health and morals and for the prevention of crime to ban the poster campaign in the light of the applicant
association’s views in favour of cloning, an activity prohibited by the Swiss Federal Constitution.
The Court observed that the ban was strictly limited to the display of posters in public places – the Federal Court had emphasised that the applicant association could express its beliefs through the many other means of communication available to it – and that there had never been any question of banning the association itself or its website.
Accordingly, since the Swiss authorities had not overstepped the wide margin of appreciation afforded to them with regard to extended use of public space, and had given sufficient reasons for their decisions, the prohibition of the poster campaign had not impaired the very essence of the applicant association’s freedom of expression. The Court concluded that there had been no violation of Article 10.

Minority judgment
Two of the 7 judges opposed, because they could not accept that a legal organisation which is allowed to maintain a website, should not be allowed to put up posters referring to it’s website.

Meinungsfreiheit auch für Religionskritiker

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Säkulare Verbände fordern Meinungsfreiheit auch für Religionskritiker

Gemeinsame Erklärung zum Indizierungsantrag gegen ‘Wo bitte geht’s zu Gott? fragte das kleine Ferkel’

Bund für Geistesfreiheit Augsburg,
Bund für Geistesfreiheit Bayern,
Bund für Geistesfreiheit Fürth,
Bund für Geistesfreiheit Regensburg,
Bund für Geistesfreiheit Rhein-Neckar,
Bund für Geistesfreiheit München,
Deutscher Freidenker-Verband,
DFV Landesverband Nord,
Forum Kritische Psychologie,,
Freidenkerbund Österreichs,
Freidenker-Vereinigung der Schweiz,
Freireligiöse Landesgemeinschaft Hessen, Gesellschaft für kritische Philosophie, Internationaler Bund der Konfessionslosen und Atheisten, JungdemokratInnen / Junge Linke Nordrhein-Westfalen, Die Laizisten – Hochschulinitiative, Ludwig-Feuerbach-Gesellschaft, unitates – Unitarische Stiftung, Deutsche Unitarier Religionsgemeinschaft, Landesgemeinde Hamburg Verband freier Weltanschauungsgemeinschaften Hamburg, Zentralrat der Ex-Muslime


“Mit dem Indizierungsantrag gegen das Kinderbuch ‘Wo bitte geht’s zu Gott? fragte das kleine Ferkel’ verstößt das Familienministerium erneut gegen die ihm als staatliche Institution gebotene Neutralität.
Der Antrag gegen das Buch ist ein Versuch der weltanschaulichen Zensur.
Das Ministerium versucht, religionskritische Kinderliteratur aus den Buchläden zu verbannen.

Der Staat darf sich nur bei objektiver Gefährdung von Kindern und Jugendlichen einschalten, hier liegt aber keine Gefährdung vor. Das Buch erfüllt kein einziges Kriterium für Indizierungen nach § 18 Jugendschutzgesetz. Der Antisemitismusvorwurf ist offenbar ein Vorwand für die Durchsetzung christlicher Erziehung seitens des Familienministeriums. Areligiöse Beeinflussung ist genauso wenig wie eine vermeintlich oder tatsächlich mangelnde Qualität eine legitime Begründung für eine Indizierung.

Meinungsfreiheit muss für alle gelten, auch für Religionskritiker. Wir fordern von der Bundesprüfstelle die Ablehnung des Antrages und vom Familienministerium eine öffentliche Zurücknahme der darin enthaltenen unberechtigten und rufschädigenden Vorwürfe gegenüber den Verantwortlichen für das Kinderbuch.”


Das Familienministerium unter Ministerin Ursula von der Leyen hat bei der Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien beantragt, das Kinderbuch ‘Wo bitte geht’s zu Gott? fragte das kleine Ferkel’ von Michael Schmidt-Salomon und Helge Nyncke zu indizieren. Zur Begründung dessen wurde behauptet, das Kinderbuch mache die drei monotheistischen Weltreligionen verächtlich und weise hinsichtlich des Judentums angeblich antisemitische Tendenzen auf. Dagegen wendet sich nun eine gemeinsame Erklärung säkularer Verbände.

Familienministerin von der Leyen schuf 2006 ein ‚Bündnis für Erziehung’, dass staatliche Förderung von Kinderziehung auf Basis ‘christlicher Werte’ stellt. Außerdem übernahm sie die Schirmherrschaft des evangelikalen Kongress ‘Christival 2008′ in Bremen, wo auch eine Art ‘Homosexuellenheilungsseminar’ angeboten werden sollte.

Das Gebot der religiös-weltanschaulichen Neutralität als Verbot der Parteinahme des Staates in religiös-weltanschaulichen Angelegenheiten wurde durch den Kruzifix-Beschluss des Bundesverfassungsgerichts von
1995 (BverfGE 93, 1) bekräftigt  und ist mittlerweile allgemein anerkannter Grundsatz staatlichen Handelns in religionsrechtlichen Fragen, zugleich aber das am meisten missachtete Gebot des Grundgesetzes.

Grundlage für die Kriterien bei Indizierungsverfahren ist § 18 Absatz1
Jugendschutzgesetz: “Träger- und Telemedien, die geeignet sind, die Entwicklung von Kindern oder Jugendlichen oder ihre Erziehung zu einer eigenverantwortlichen und gemeinschaftsfähigen Persönlichkeit zu gefährden, sind von der Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien in eine Liste jugendgefährdender Medien aufzunehmen. Dazu zählen vor allem unsittliche, verrohend wirkende, zu Gewalttätigkeit, Verbrechen oder Rassenhass anreizende Medien.”


Der Indizierungsantrag des Bundesfamilienministeriums als PDF-Dokument

Kampagnenwebseite des betroffenen Verlages und der Autoren