The International Liaison Committee of Atheists and Free Thinkers informs
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Bund Gegen Anpassung – German organization and founding Member of ILCAFT – has been victim of legal censorship, through one if its publications : Ketzerbriefe (Heretical Letters).
The 157/158 issue has been put on the “list of media putting under-aged readers at risk” with immediate enforcement.
A few months ago, the National Federation of the Free Thought (FNLP – Libre Pensée - France) was informed of the threats of censorship that was hanging over the review. The National Federation of the Free Thought had lodged a protest and FNLP General Secretary had sent the following letter to the German Federal Board :
“Article 5 of your Basic Law, concerning freedom of expression, provides : Every person shall have the right freely to express and disseminate his opinions in speech, writing, and pictures and to inform himself without hindrance from generally accessible sources. Freedom of the press and freedom of reporting by means of broadcasts and films shall be guaranteed. There shall be no censorship [our emphasis].
We lodge solemn protests against this censorship, even if it seems to be based on clause 2 of Article 5 : These rights shall find their limits in the provisions of general laws, in provisions for the protection of young persons, and in the right to personal honor.
In our country, we know very well this form of hidden censorship in the name of “protection of the youth”. It is called the 1949 Law, targeting publications for the youth, which has been used as an instrument to censor the press, including the press for adults, notably in its Article 14 which “prohibits…offering, giving freely or selling to children under the age of eighteen, any kind of publication causing a risk for the youth, because of its licentious or pornographic character, and the space provided for crime”. This law has been used and is still being used to fight against “moral subversion”, namely all that does not fit into conformism of thought promoted notably by religious organizations which have recently proved how they have been respecting the aforementioned “protection of the youth”.
Obviously, Ketzerbriefe (Heretical Letters) is not designed for the youth, and it is certainly more difficult for an under-age person to purchase a copy of that review than any pornographic review displayed freely at bookstalls that belong to powerful media groups which are not to be disrupted inappropriately.
Dear Sir or Madam, we firmly believe that, by refusing to prosecute this publication, you will be willing to prove that clause 1 of Article 5 of your Basic Law takes precedence over the abuse of its clause 2.”
Despite this letter and numerous international protests, the German “Federal Board controlling medias endangering the youth” has decided – with many and painful twists and turns - “addressing the request of March 15 to put a publication on the list of medias endangering the youth made the decision on August 4, 2010 in conformity with paragraph 3 clause 23 of the Law protecting the youth, unanimously, in simplified proceedings, to put issue n° 157/158 of “ Ketzerbriefe-Flaschenpost für unangepasste Gedanken” in category A of the list of medias endangering the youth.”
We call on all organizations and individuals supporting the work of ILCAFT, and more generally all organizations and individuals fighting for freedom of expression to send letters of protest against this decision of censorship –hidden as usual behind the allegedly “protection of the youth” and “morality”.
Please, send letters of protest to
Bundesprüfstelle für jugengefährdende schriften Rochusstrasse 10 53123 BONN
Akenzeichen (N° de dossier) : Pr.389/10
Copy to CILALP (firstname.lastname@example.org) Copy to BGA Bund gegen Anpassung Postfach 254 D 79002 FREIBURG Bund-gegen-Anpassung@gmx.net
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