Offence Intended – Virgin Mary With a Rainbow Halo as Freedom of Expression

The news that a 51-year-old activist, Ms Elżbieta Podleśna, was detained and interrogated by Polish authorities shocked the public in Poland. She is charged under Poland’s "blasphemy law" for allegedly putting up posters of the Virgin Mary with a rainbow halo. This latest example of Polish authorities prosecuting cases of religious insults illustrates the incompatibility of Poland’s “blasphemy law” with European human rights guarantees, in particular the freedom of expression.

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Murder in the Name of Allah: Asia Bibi and Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law

The Pakistani Supreme Court’s release of Asia Naureen, a mother of five from Pakistan’s shrinking Christian community who was imprisoned nine years ago on trumped-up blasphemy charges, has riled up the religious right and spiralled into scorching new waves of violence. The Supreme Court, however, had no qualms with mandatory death sentences for insults against the Prophet.

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