Denmark repeals 334-year-old blasphemy law

Jun 5, 2017 13:15 IST

Denmark repeals 334-year-old blasphemy law

Danish lawmakers in the first week of June 2017 repealed a 334-year-old blasphemy law that forbids public insults of a religion, such as the burning of holy books.

Denmark was the only Scandinavian country with a blasphemy law, which called for up to four months in prison upon conviction, although most people were fined instead.

Only a handful of blasphemy trials have taken place in the past 80 years in the country, and several high-profile cases have been dropped, including one involving a caricature of the prophet Muhammad published in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in 2005.

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The Danish Parliament stated that politicians, who wanted to repeal the law introduced in 1683 “do not believe that there should be special rules protecting religions against expressions.”

However, remarks and acts that threaten or demean certain groups of people because of their religious beliefs will still be punishable.

In 1946, two people were fined for conducting a baptism during a masked ball, and in 1971, two public radio officials were convicted for broadcasting a song about a woman’s sexuality and her refusal of any divine moral figure.

A Danish man, who filmed himself burning the Quran before posting a video of his act on Facebook in 2015 would have faced a blasphemy trial soon in June 2017. However, the case is now dropped after revoking of the law.

 

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Read more Current Affairs on: Danish Parliament , Blasphemy Law in Denmark , Blasphemy

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