HSS supports campaign to end outdated blasphemy laws in Greece

Humanist Society Scotland have joined with over fifty organisations to call for Greece to repeal its blasphemy law.

  • Outdated laws remain a modern issue with new charges of blasphemy being pressed by prosecutors.
  • The Greek government has repeatedly expressed its commitment to repealing these laws, but has failed to take action.
  • Over fifty organisations including HSS, have signed an open letter to the Greek government requesting that these laws be repealed.

Greece has seen a number of blasphemy cases in recent years. Perhaps most well known is that of atheist blogger Philipos Loizos, who was convicted over charges of blasphemy, and given a ten month suspended sentence. He had created a satirical Facebook page for “Elder Pastitsios”  which portrayed at Greek Orthodox monk, Father Paisios, as a traditional pasta-based dish.

Earlier this year HSS, along with other humanist and secular groups, signed a letter to the Greek Secretary-General for Transparency and Human Rights, Kostis Papaioannou, calling for blasphemy laws to be abolished. While the response to this letter repeated the government’s commitment to abolish those provisions, it went on to lay out procedures which would effectively postpone such a change indefinitely.

A subsequent appeal letter has now been submitted to the United Nations in anticipation of Greece’s review by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which is due to take place in August. Papaioannou has previously gone before the UN and committed to repealing outdated penal provisions, such as articles against blasphemy. It is hoped that CERD will urge Greece to abolish its outdated laws, which will in turn lead to the courts and prosecutors dropping all pending related charges.

Notes: For further information or comment please contact Gary McLelland on gary@humanism.scot or 07813060713.

You can read more about the appeal, including the original letter and the response from the Greek authorities, here: End blasphemy laws in Greece

About HSS:
Humanist Society Scotland seeks to represent the views of people in Scotland who wish to lead ethical and fulfilling lives guided by reason, empathy and compassion. We provide a range of non-religious ceremonies and campaign for a secular state. HSS has over 14,000 members across Scotland.


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