General Comment on Article 19
"anti-blasphemy laws and restrictions on criticism of governments are incompatible with existing norms and that free expression is essential for the protection of human rights."
Crucial to the committee´s comments are the so-called “memory laws,” which it defined as "laws that penalize the expression of opinions about historical facts” and sees these laws as “incompatible with the obligations that the covenant imposes on States parties in relation to the respect for freedom of opinion and expression.” and goes on to say that,“Freedom of expression is a necessary condition for the realization of the principles of transparency and accountability that are, in turn, essential for the promotion and protection of human rights”.
Reading it makes it abundantly clear that governments and political organizations that prohibit the elementary right to present alternative historical accounts are in clear violation of the United Nations’ position on freedom of opinion and expression.This obviously applies to Germany, France and Austria but it also applies to many 'progressive' organizations (Jewish and Non-Jewish) and individuals that are engaged in relentless harassment campaigns against dissent voices within the (Jewish and Non-Jewish) communities and beyond.
It is incompatible with paragraph 1 to criminalize the holding of an opinion. The harassment, intimidation or stigmatization of a person, including arrest, detention, trial or imprisonment for reasons of the opinions they may hold, constitutes a violation of article 19, paragraph 1.", and in the footnotes are references to many relevant cases.
(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.
Human Rights Committee
Geneva, 11-29 July 2011
General comment No. 34
Article 19: Freedoms of opinion and expression
1. This general comment replaces general comment No. 10 (nineteenth session).
violation of article 19, paragraph 1. (10)
The attention of States parties is drawn to the guidance that general comment No. 25 provides with regard to the promotion and the protection of freedom of expression in that context.
Laws must provide sufficient guidance to those charged with their execution to enable them to ascertain what sorts of expression are properly restricted and what sorts are not.
Nor is it generally appropriate to include in the remit of such laws such categories of information as those relating to the commercial sector, banking and scientific progress. (66)
The Committee has found in one case that a restriction on the issuing of a statement in support of a labour dispute, including for the convening of a national strike, was not permissible on the grounds of national security. (67)
Limitative scope of restrictions on freedom of expression in certain specific areas
Restrictions on the right of freedom of opinion should never be imposed and, with regard to freedom of expression, they should not go beyond what is permitted in paragraph 3 or required under article 20.
(2) See the Committee’s general comment No. 24 (1994) on issues relating to reservations made upon ratification or accession to the Covenant or the Optional Protocols thereto, or in relation to the declarations under article 41 of the Covenant, Official Records of the General Assembly, Fiftieth Session, Supplement No. 40, vol. I (A/50/40 (Vol. I)), annex V.
(5) General comment No. 24.
(6) See the Committee’s general comment No. 31 (2004) on the nature of the general legal obligation imposed on States parties to the Covenant, para. 4, Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty ninth Session, Supplement No. 40, vol. I (A/59/40 (Vol. I)), annex III
Assembly, Fifty-fifth Session, Supplement No. 40, vol. I (A/55/40 (Vol. I)), annex VI, sect. A