Sunday, 1 April 2012

Can you believe the cheek of this guy, calling for greater respect for free speech as he leaves the job only a few days after writing to the Swiss government demanding that it criminalise free expression?
In an interview the day before he left office, Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe's commissioner for human rights, said the sentence imposed by British courts on 21-year-old Liam Stacey was excessive.

After six years in his post at Strasbourg, the Swedish official used his departing comments to plead for greater freedom of expression and to question blanket imposition of traditional media restraints on the internet.

Stacey, who admitted an offence of racist intent, made repeated, offensive remarks on Twitter after the Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba collapsed during a match. The student's appeal against sentence was dismissed last week.

But Hammarberg told the Guardian: "It was too much. He shouldn't have gone to prison. To put him in prison was wrong.

"Politicians are at a bit of loss to know how to … protect internet freedom while also having regulations against [such problems as] hate speech and child pornography.

"There are limits to freedom of expression but regulators don't know how to handle this. It would be useful to have a more enlightened discussion at a European level, otherwise we are going to have different practices in different countries.

"In traditional media there are editors who are responsible for print content. It's not so easy to have to the same legal procedures when it comes to action [against lone online voices].

"People are at a loss to know how to apply rules for the traditional media to the new media. It's tricky and that's why there needs to be a more thorough discussion about this."


Anonymous said...

He is pleading for free speech but not of the type the Swiss have.

The Swiss decide by way of referendum what they want and what they don't want. The EU way is what the our rulers decide what we can say and what we cant.

In first case, we have the freedom by right. In the second case, our freedoms are given to us, and the ruling elite can take or modify it to suit their convenience.

The difference is huge.

V said...

Yes, why spread childpornography in the name of freedom of expression! Its awful to read such arguments! Of course there are always a limit for the freedom, but we shall discuss how the freedom shall look like and how to create it!

Anonymous said...

Indeed they are. But the people decide not - not some politician or bureaucrat.

Anonymous said...

The right to speak freely cannot be given or conferred nor can there be any limits on freedom of speech. It is a fundamental non negotiable right and comes attached to each newborn child. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is a fascist - fascism comes in many guises.

Anonymous said...

In addition attaching child pornography to the issue of freedom of speech is done only to divert attention and confuse matters. Freedom of speech and pornography are unrelated. This man Hammarberg is obviously a fascist as is the judge who sentenced the unfortunate Englishman and the politicians who created the laws used to convict. Proof positive that we are living in a fascist state - we supposedly fought a war to defeat fascism only to find we've been fuped by the elitist criminals who now rule us.

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