Live Online Policy Forum

How Blasphemy Laws Silence Speech and Destroy Lives

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Date and Time
February 17, 2021 11 AM - 12 PM EST
Live Online

Featuring Mustafa Akyol (@AkyolinEnglish), Senior Fellow, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute; Joelle Fiss (@JoelleFiss), Human Rights Expert, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom; Marvi Sirmed (@marvisirmed), Political Commentator, Journalist, and Human Rights Activist, Logan Nonfiction Program, University of Connecticut; moderated by Doug Bandow (@Doug_Bandow), Senior Fellow, Cato Institute.

Eighty‐​four countries around the world have criminal blasphemy laws, according to a recent report by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Mob activity, threats, and violence based on accusations of blasphemy are also common in some of these countries. The result is the silencing of millions of people and the direct persecution of hundreds of people every year, by law or vigilantism, for merely expressing their ideas and opinions. Speakers will highlight this global threat to freedom of speech, with special attention to Pakistan, which is home to the highest number of blasphemy‐​related prosecutions as well as societal violence.

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