EU court rejects Austrian’s plea over blasphemy

Published October 26, 2018
The European Court of Human Rights has rejected a plea by an Austrian woman that her conviction for blaspheming the Holy Prophet (PBUH) breached her freedom of speech. — File Photo
The European Court of Human Rights has rejected a plea by an Austrian woman that her conviction for blaspheming the Holy Prophet (PBUH) breached her freedom of speech. — File Photo

BERLIN: The European Court of Human Rights has rejected a plea by an Austrian woman that her conviction for blaspheming the Holy Prophet (PBUH) breached her freedom of speech.

The Strasbourg-based ECHR ruled on Thursday that Austrian courts had “carefully balanced her right to freedom of expression with the right of others to have their religious feelings protected”.

The woman in her late 40s, identified only as ES, uttered the profanities during two seminars in 2009.

A Vienna court convicted her in 2011 of disparaging religious doctrines, ordering her to pay a $547 fine, plus costs.

The ruling was later upheld by an Austrian appeals court.

The ECHR said the Austrian court’s decision “served the legitimate aim of preserving religious peace”.

Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2018

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