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Sarah speaking about anti-terrorism legislation and freedom of speech (2)

February 18, 2008 12:30 PM
By Sarah Ludford in European Parliament

Mr President, I would be extremely grateful if anyone who is supporting the amendments to criminalize glorification could be so kind as to try and answer the points that I raised, which are, first of all, that I fear a chilling effect on free speech and, secondly, that I do not know how they can be made operational.

What is the connection between glorifying an act of terrorism and another terrorist act being committed? It seems to me that there are legal problems, as was found in the UK Court of Appeal last week, because there is no direct connection between glorification and a new terrorist act, which there obviously is when there is incitement, or encouragement at least. If you just 'glorify' a terrorist act, then what is the straight-line connection between that and another act being committed?

If you cannot establish that connection, you risk being undercut in the courts and then end up in a much worse position than before you started. I would be very grateful if anyone who actually supports the criminalization of glorification or apologia could perhaps educate me, because this is something I do not quite understand.