Romania: freedom of expression defended

  • Date / 27 October 2006

IHEU member organization Solidaritatea pentru Libertatea de Conştiinţă (Solidarity for Freedom of Conscience) is organizing a protest Folk-Rock Concert in Constitution Square, Bucharest, Romania on Saturday, 28 October 2006, 17:30 to protest against Art. 13 of the Religious Freedom and Religious Denominations Bill, which has already passed the Parliamentary Commission on human rights, denominations and national minorities and the Legal Commission, provides that “Any form, means, act or action of religious defamation and enmity, as well as public any offense against religious symbols, shall be prohibited in Romania.”

Should this article be adopted by the Chamber of Deputies, it would impose serious limitations on the fundamental liberties of freedom of speech and freedom of conscience. Books, works of art, movies, plays, concerts and rock groups could then be easily banned.

To all those who treasure freedom, critical thinking and religious tolerance as values which have become dominant in Europe after centuries of religious conflict and persecution, this new censorship is unacceptable.

The goal of the protest is to affirm the values of art and freedom, the abusive limitation of which would make Romania’s accession to the European Union mjeaningless.

Folk and Rock Romanian musicians and bands as Luna Amara, Vama, Florin Chilian, Raza, Tapinarii, Sarmalele Reci, Altar, Buricul Pamantului, and Impant pentru refuz will play and sing against the new censorship. Each one of the bands will play for approximately 20 minutes.

The event will start with a 10-minute happening involving over 100 volunteers. A special area close to the stage will be reserved for thematic art exhibits.

We hope that over 5000 people will attend at the protest concert.

Those attending will have the opportunity to sign a letter of protest addressed to the House of Deputies and the Romanian President calling upon them to reject this undemocratic bill. Attendees may also make donations for the civic campaign in support of free speech.

The open letter at http://www.humanism.ro/articles.php?page=62&article=173 may also be signed online at sending an e-mail to: [email protected]

This is not an anti-religious event. Its sole purpose is to reaffirm the importance of two fundamental rights: freedom of expression and freedom of conscience.

Contact: Remus Cernea – Executive Director
[email protected]

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