Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff on the Death of Free Speech in EUrabia

“Once a country accepts censorship of the press and of speech, then nothing can be won without violence.”

“The principle of free speech is not concerned with the content of a man’s speech and does not protect only the expression of good ideas, but all ideas. If it were otherwise, who would determine which ideas are good and where forbidden? The government?”

“Once a country accepts censorship of the press and of speech, then nothing can be won without violence. Therefore, so long as you have free speech, protect it. This is the life-and-death issue in this country: do not give up the freedom of the press — of newspapers, books, magazines, radio, movies, and other forms of presenting ideas. So long as that’s free, a peaceful intellectual turn is possible.” Ayn Rand

In other news:

The same fraudulent prosecutors will do: The public prosecution department does not have to appoint new lawyers to lead the prosecution of Geert Wilders on inciting hatred and discrimination charges

The Time That is Given Us

(Gates of Vienna)

The International Free Press Society sponsored a conference today in Copenhagen. Below is the speech that was given during the event by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff (photo © Snaphanen).

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I stand here before you in the city of Copenhagen in the year 2010. This is widely considered to be an enlightened country in the heart of an enlightened continent.

Our basic freedoms have long been guaranteed — first by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as passed by the United Nations in 1948, and then buttressed by the Council of Europe in 1950 through the European Convention of Human Rights, which was later affirmed by the European Union. Our individual countries have additionally codified the same basic rights in their own constitutions.

Here’s the link to the UN Press Release, which includes a bunch of other agendas.

These rights include the freedom of individual conscience, the right to assemble peaceably, and the right to practice our religion freely, or to have no religion at all. And, perhaps most importantly of all, they include the right to voice our opinions freely and to publish them without hindrance.

Yet freedom of speech is under attack today here in Denmark, as it is in my own country Austria, and indeed all across Europe. Today, in 21st century Western Europe, our right to free speech is being shut down quietly and systematically with an effectiveness that the commissars in the old Soviet Union could only dream of.

A milestone in this ominous totalitarian trend will be reached tomorrow, 28 November 2010, when the member states of the European Union are required to implement an innocuous-sounding legal provision known as the “Framework decision on combating racism and xenophobia”, or, more fully, the “Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of 28 November 2008 on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law.” According to the final article of the Framework Decision, “Member States shall take the necessary measures to comply with the provisions of this Framework Decision by 28 November 2010.”

Why does this matter to the cause of free speech in Europe?

If you read the full text of the Framework Decision (which may be found in the legislative section of the EU’s website), you will learn that “Each Member State shall take the measures necessary… to ensure that the following intentional conduct is punishable.” Such “intentional conduct” includes “conduct which is a pretext for directing acts against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin.”

Based on what has recently happened to Geert Wilders and me — and earlier to Gregorius Nekschot, Jussi Halla-aho, and numerous others — we can all guess who will be punished under this provision of the Framework Decision: those who criticize Islam.

Even worse, a complaint made by a member state does not have to be “dependent on a report or an accusation made by a victim of the conduct”, nor does the alleged offender have to be “physically present in its territory”.

In other words, if the dhimmi Austrian government objects to a cartoon published by Kurt Westergaard here in Denmark, Mr. Westergaard may be extradited by the Austrian Ministry of Justice to answer to hate speech charges in Austria. The European Arrest Warrant guarantees that the Danish government cannot legally interfere with such an extradition, and the 800-strong “European Gendarmerie Force” would be available to fetch Mr. Westergaard out of his bed and bring him to Vienna — with impunity.

As of tomorrow, the above scenario becomes a real possibility. It is not a paranoid fantasy. These legal provisions are detailed in the EU’s public documents, and they will enjoy the full force of law in all EU member states as of midnight tonight.

The death throes of free speech in Europe begin tomorrow morning.