UN rights body votes to curb criticism of religion

Hans-Georg's picture
Sun, 2009-03-29 10:33 by Hans-Georg

GENEVA (AP) – The U.N.'s top human rights body has approved a proposal by Muslim nations urging the passage of laws protecting religion from criticism.

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Members of the Human Rights Council voted 23 in favor of a resolution Thursday to combat "defamation of religion." Eleven nations, mostly from the West, opposed the resolution and 13 countries abstained.

The resolution was proposed by Pakistan. Muslim countries have cited the inflammatory effect of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad as an example of unacceptable free speech.

Critics say the resolution, while not binding, will have a chilling effect on free speech and may worsen relations between faiths.

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