05 Jun 2017

Denmark drops 334-year-old blasphemy law

Denmark has repealed a 334-year-old blasphemy law that forbids publicly insulting a religion, such as the burning of holy books.

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While the law has been in place for more than 300 years the reality is that only a handful of blasphemy trials have taken place in the past 80 years. And, a number of high-profile cases ended up being dropped, one which received significant coverage involving a caricature of the prophet Muhammadbeing  published in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in 2005.

Could result in prison sentence

While not resulting in many trials, and in most the accused were merely fined, the blasphemy law technically could result for up to four months in prison upon conviction. The Danish Parilament stated on its website that politicians who were in favour of repealing the law 'do not believe that there should be special rules protecting religions against expressions.'

Threatening behaviour still illegal

However, remarks and acts that threaten or demean certain groups of people because of their religious beliefs will still be punishable.

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