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Bill to decriminalise blasphemy in Iceland
Blasphemy is a criminal offence in Iceland, under Article 125 of the Icelandic Penal Code. Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, MP for the Pirate Party ('Píratar'), is one of three MPs behind a parliamentary bill seeking to change this. "Freedom of expression is one of the cornerstones of democracy. It is fundamental to a free society that people should be able to express themselves without fear of punishment, whether from the authorities or from other people," the bill reads. The full text of the bill (in Icelandic) can be found here.
The bill is currently open for comments from interested parties. The Bishop's Office of the Church of Iceland, for instance, has declared that "any legislative powers limiting freedom of expression in this way is at variance with modern-day attitudes towards human rights and the view that freedom of expression is one of the most important cornerstones of democracy and freedom. It is fundamental to a free society that people should be able to express themselves without fear of punishment."
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