Press Release

 * NEWS RELEASE

 


WRITERS CALL FOR MEETING WITH HOME SECRETARY

OVER RELIGIOUS HATRED OFFENCE

 

London, January 11, 2005: English PEN, the writers’ organisation that campaigns for freedom of expression, has called for a meeting with the new Home Secretary, Charles Clarke MP, to seek to persuade him not to include an offence of incitement

to religious hatred in the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill.

Almost 300 writers of many faiths and none have signed a letter stating that only true democracy can protect the freedom of all religions while allowing for free expression.

In the light of recent demonstrations by religious groups – against the production of Bezhti at the Birmingham Rep and Jerry Springer The Opera by the BBC – PEN writers believe there are serious threats to our society’s freedoms, and that Government should not be promoting a climate and a law which constrains them further.

The following writers are available for comment and interview:

Lisa Appignanesi Chair, Offence Campaign

Hanif Kureishi

Salman Rushdie


For further information about the Offence Campaign or English PEN, please contact Susanna Nicklin on 020 7713 0023.

Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/aboutenglishpen/campaigns/offence/media/pressrelease/

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