Aug 202009
 

Karl Sigfrid has sent me the following information on how to make a complaint to the European Commission.

I would encourage everybody who’s concerned about this disgraceful law to make a formal complaint and not leave it in the hands of a Swedish MP to rescue us from the stupidity of the boneheads we call a government in Ireland.

You can send your complaint in an email to SG-PLAINTES@ec.europa.eu

Alternatively, you can post a letter of complaint to this address:

Commission des Communautés européennes
(Secretary-General)
B-1049 Bruxelles
BELGIUM

This is what Karl said in his complaint, but to avoid making it look like a chain letter, please express yourself as you feel about the matter.  You could always quote his words and say that you would like the Commission to treat your email as a formal complaint fully in agreement with the concerns expressed by Karl Sigfrid.

Be sure to put your full details in the complaint.  Give your correct name, full address and particulars of citizenship.

To the European Commission

I want to bring to the attention of the EU Commission the legislation against blasphemy that went into effect on Ireland on July 23. According to the new legislation, a citizen of the European Union can be punished for making a comment that is determined to be offensive to a substantial number of followers of a religion. The punishment consists of a 25 000-euro fine.

Article 6.1 in the current EU treaty establishes that the union “is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law, principles which are common to the Member States.”

One human right that is intimately connected to both freedom and democracy is the right to free speech. The European Convention on Human Rights, article 10, describes free speech as follows:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.”

There is no obvious reason why free speech should not include the right to characterize religious views or symbols in a way that some might find offensive.

For the reasons stated above, I ask the EU Commission to examine whether the Irish legislation against blasphemy is consistent with the EU treaties.

______________

Now.  What about that?

Get to work!

_________________

This is what I said in my own letter of complaint:

I am an Irish citizen, and I am deeply concerned about recent legislation passed by my government. The Defamation Act makes it a crime to offend a substantial number of adherents to any religion.  This means that if I express my sincerely-held atheistic beliefs, I am at risk of being prosecuted and fined up to €25,000.

I believe this is in conflict with Article 6.1 of the present EU Treaty which recognises fundamental freedoms.  This law attacks my fundamental freedom to hold views contrary to the beliefs of any religion and to sincerely express those views without fear of oppression.

This law, in my opinion, makes it possible to oppress people for expressing criticism of religions.

The European Convention on Human Rights, states as follows: Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.

The Defamation Act is an interference by public authority in my freedom to impart ideas and is therefore, in my opinion, incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

I am asking the EU Commission to treat this as a formal complaint and to consider whether the Defamation Act is in conflict with current EU Treaties.

______________________

Also:

Swedish MP complains to European Commission about irish blasphemy law

  17 Responses to “Blasphemy Law — How To Complain to the European Commission”

Comments (17)
  1.  

    Thanks for this BOCK, my e-mail is already on the way to the Commission.
    The e-mail link you put up is busted by the way

  2.  

    Sound!

  3.  

    Link fixed

  4.  

    Written. Sent. Thanks.

  5.  

    Done. Sent it of now. Thats mad Ted.

  6.  

    On de way!

  7.  

    Thanks for this, I’ll be writing an email tomorrow.

  8.  

    The Pope sure has a strangle hold on yous no wonder the prods are worried about a united Ireland. I’ll be getting one of them Irish passports meself does that mean the inquisition can get me too?

  9.  

    As you know I too am against this crazy legislation but should you not have written: ‘sincerely-held atheistic non-beliefs’? ;-)

  10.  

    Ahern’s ears are burning (wish the rest of him would follow suit) – just sent another one east…

  11.  

    Don’t forget to send a letter to your local newspaper editorial page too, that may help.

  12.  

    I don’t wish to complicate the matter, but it might be helpful to explain to readers that as things currently stand, the European Convention on Human Rights is not legally binding on Irish courts and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg does not have the power to change Irish law. Neither the court nor the convention are EU institutions.

    Furthermore, no current EU human rights law can trump Irish law. This will change if and when the Lisbon treaty is fully ratified – the new treaty contains quite wide-ranging human rights provisions that could even override the Irish constitution (essentially incorporating the European Convention on Human Rights into EU law). This is interesting to note, because most people in Ireland would probably have in initially negative reaction to the idea that the EU could order a change in our constitution. But this blasphemy issue shows that it might not be such a bad idea.

    It’s all very well complaining to the European Commission, but it won’t make any difference until the EU has the power to do something about it. If you feel strongly about this, your best option is to go out and vote for Lisbon.

    The EU legal situation may also explain the curious timing of Dermot A-Horn’s amendment. He may believe that changing the law before Lisbon is ratified might make it less likely that the EU would have demanded a change in the constitutional requirement on blasphemy, since it’s not an anomaly in law anymore. I can’t see any reason to support this belief, since the EU court will have the power either way, but it might provide some cover to FF to say they tried to address it. This may also explain FF’s incompetence in lobbying for Lisbon.

    My email has gone off to the Commission.

  13.  

    Email away. Good man Bock, and kudos to Sigfrid too.

  14.  

    Destroying this stupid law could be fun.

    I wonder if it would be possible to try and do any of the following:

    (a) Flood the legal system in Ireland with a series of official complaints of blasphemy from one religion against another (since all the major religious texts are Blasphemous if you belong to another religion). Does anyone know a link to be able to do this?

    (b) Start a new religion for protestors of this law which deems all sorts of ordinary, everyday things are blasphemous, like wearing jeans – or creating and enforcing anti-blasphemy laws, for that matter.

    (c) Create some deliberately blasphemous t-shirts, with a charity proceeds to cover the legal fees of people who get fined for wearing them, and a link to a website like this.

  15.  

    There is already the Church of Dermatology set up by Atheist dot eye eeee. Their diety is Dermot Ahern. I think there is a facegroup book aswell.

  16.  

    Well BOCK, the Commission responded. They’re saying they can’t involve themselves in domestic issues. They will do nothing about this. So figure that out.

  17.  

    I got a reply too, which said it had been passed to the Directorate General for Justice, Freedom and Security. Maybe that’s just a preamble to the same fob off that unstranger got.

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