Press release

Denmark Should Decriminalize Blasphemy, Promote Freedom of Speech

Freedom House issued the following statement on the eve of the Danish Parliament's vote on on repealing criminal penalties for blasphemy. 

Washington

In anticipation of a vote tomorrow in Denmark’s Parliament on repealing criminal penalties for blasphemy, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“Blasphemy laws are notorious for suppressing free speech while at the same time making religious polarization even worse,” said Arch Puddington, Distinguished Fellow for Democracy Studies at Freedom House. “In the hands of extremists, demagogues, and autocrats, these laws are used to silence critics or oppress religious minorities. In democratic settings, religious tolerance has invariably come through the free exchange of ideas. There is no place in democracies for blasphemy laws. Denmark would do well to eliminate its ban on blasphemy.”

Denmark is rated Free in Freedom in the World 2017 and Free in Freedom of the Press 2016.