Violating Rights: Enforcing the World’s Blasphemy Laws

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Posted Mar 28, 2021 | US Commission for International Religious Freedom

Blasphemy laws criminalize expression that insults or offends religious doctrines. This report by the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) examines the political, cultural, and legal contexts that shape how criminal blasphemy laws are implemented and enforced. Focusing on the period 2014-2018, it provides data and examples of the ways in which governments’ enforcement of blasphemy laws undermines human rights, including freedom of religion or belief, and freedom of expression. It finds that in just over half the cases of state enforcement, news reports identified the religion or belief of the accused. Of those cases, Muslims accounted for 56 percent of the persons arrested, prosecuted, and/or punished for alleged blasphemy. Other groups prosecuted, included: Christians (25 percent), Atheists (seven percent), Baha’is (seven percent), and Hindus (three percent). Blasphemy Enforcement Report _final_0.pdf



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