Below is the intervention read today by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, representing Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Session 12 “Combating Hate Crimes and Ensuring Effective Protection against Discrimination”, Warsaw, September 29, 2015.
Tear down the walls of un-free speech!
Working Session No. 12
Specifically Selected Topic: Combating Hate Crimes and Ensuring Effective Protection against Discrimination
OSCE/ODIHR, Warsaw, Poland
29 September 2015
What we are witnessing today is the implementation of ever-more restrictions to our freedom to speak our mind. We should not be addressing hate speech but free speech!
Who among the participating States back in the 1980s, at the height of the Cold War, with freedom and Communist oppression opposing each other, would have dreamed that we would one day be attending OSCE meetings discussing speech restrictions?
Who among the participating States back in the 1980s would have dreamed that one day we would have to tell our children to hold back their opinions in school for fear of repercussions?
Who among the participating States back in the 1980s would have dreamed that one day we would be confronted with legislation governing thought-crimes?
Who among the participating States back in the 1980s — fighting for the forces of freedom: freedom of thought, freedom of speeches, freedom of expression against the forces of darkness — could have foreseen that this day would come?
You, the participating States of the OSCE, were once instrumental in tearing down the walls of oppression, leading the way to freedom, the freedom to speak one’s mind openly and without fear of repercussions. You have failed. By even discussing so-called hate crimes — which are nothing other than the destruction of the free marketplace of ideas — the OSCE has returned to the dark ages of oppression.
Will we sit here in the coming years discussing whatever has been allowed by OSCE participating States? How much farther will the corridor of what is “acceptable” speech be narrowed?
BPE calls on the OSCE to tear down the walls of tyranny of thought-crimes! Only a free marketplace of ideas guarantees vibrant societies.
For links to previous articles about the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, see the OSCE Archives.