Written by ICLA
On 26 April 2014 Liberty GB’s European parliamentary election candidate Paul Weston was arrested in Winchester for quoting Britain’s wartime leader Winston Churchill. He was arrested simply because a member of the public exercised the now legally enshrined heckler’s veto and got the police to shut him up! This is a clear illustration of how basic freedoms have been destroyed in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, this latest arrest demonstrates how sharia law is becoming deeply embedded in the British legal system.
ICLA launched its Victims of Sharia Action Network (VOSAN) in 2013 to monitor these types of occurrences. In view of this recent incident we now recognise that Mr Weston has become the latest Victim of Sharia in the UK – under sharia principles any criticism of Islam banned.
In Pakistan, which also has provisions in its legal system to criminalize criticism of Islamic principles, this has resulted in persecution of non-Muslims by the courts. There is now the danger that non-Muslims in Britain can now be similarly persecuted. Rather than protecting freedom of religion the new age blasphemy laws, that are a now a recurrent feature of Western legal systems, undermine freedom of religious while simultaneously doing the same to freedom of expression. If such laws can be applied in such a draconian way in the UK then they are clearly laws that are in urgent need of repeal.
One of ICLA’s core concerns is the rapid erosion of freedom of expression across the Western world. Things are getting particularly repressive in the United Kingdom, the spiritual home of the freedoms that are now under concerted attack. In our involvement at the Human Dimension meetings of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) we have noticed that a great deal attention has been focused on former Soviet Republics but little attention to human rights abuses in Western countries. We call upon this bias to be remedied.
The right to freedom of expression is guaranteed by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and by Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights but these documents are obviously no longer respected in counties such as the UK.
Michael Coren talked to Paul Weston on SUNTV tonight about his “Islamophobia”:
The following clip shows Mr Weston explaining what happened to him while being interviewed by a North American news show:
If a man can be arrested for quoting one of Britain’s most revered leaders then freedom of expression can no longer be said to exist in countries like the UK. Churchill, one of the most vociferous critics of fascism in the 1930s would undoubtedly be appalled about the crackdown on basic freedoms in his own country.
Legacy media coverage of this very important story has been limited, e.g. Daily Mail, The Telegraph, and BBC. It will be revealing about the motives of the media if the story does not make the paper versions of the newspapers above or onto the BBC Six O’clock news. After all, the story demonstrates clearly an attack on the most basic freedoms of the British people, surely more important than many of the relatively trivial matters that are given prominence on the TV news.