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Icelandic Blasphemy Law up for Review

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Icelandic Blasphemy Law up for Review

Alþingi parliament

At Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament. Photo: Páll Kjartansson.

Prime Minister of Iceland Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson stated on the first day of the spring session at the Alþingi parliament on Tuesday that the law on punishment for blasphemy can be reviewed, in response to a request from Pirate Party MP Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson.

Helgi asked the PM whether he agreed with his party and Bishop of Iceland Agnes Sigurðardóttir that prison sentences as punishment for blasphemy should be abolished, ruv.is reports.

Sigmundur responded that although he doesn’t always agree with the Pirate Party, he respects their fight for freedom of expression. Therefore he supports reviewing the law on blasphemy.

The PM pointed out that it’s important to review the law in the context of recent law amendments, such as in relation with a legal ban on hate speech.

Helgi then pointed out that there is a difference between making fun of religion and hate speech. Sigmundur said he agreed and that he and Helgi are thinking along the same lines in these matters.

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