Freedom of expression shouldn't be abused to fan hatred: Ban

Ban Ki-Moon
United Nations, Sept 20: UN chief Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned those who fanned sentiments of hate in the name of an anti-Islam movie, saying freedom of expression should not be abused by people to "provoke or humiliate" the values and beliefs of others. Emphasising that freedom of expression and assembly is a "fundamental" right and privilege of all people, Ban said this right should not be abused.

"My position is that freedom of expression, while it is a fundamental right and privilege, should not be abused by such people, by such a disgraceful and shameful act," the UN Secretary General told reporters here when asked about the movie and the argument that its maker was exercising his right to freedom of expression. The anti-Islam film has sparked violent protests across the world that has resulted in the deaths of several people, including that of US envoy to Libya Chris Stevens.

"All human beings have the inalienable right to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly... Freedom of expression should be and must be guaranteed and protected, when they are used for common justice, common purpose."

"When some people use this freedom of expression to provoke or humiliate some others' values and beliefs, then this cannot be protected in such a way," Ban said. He said similar kind of outrage and anger was expressed by people when cartoons of the Prophet were circulated.

"Now, it is very disgraceful and shameful that still people are provoking the values and beliefs of other people... This must stop. It is very important that all people around the world should have due respect and deeper understanding of the values and beliefs and tradition and history of other people and other groups of communities." Ban said he strongly criticises the "senseless" people who "fan the flames of this intolerance and hatred using these kinds of opportunities."


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