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China, supported by South Africa and others, brought a hostile oral amendment to the resolution, to include a further paragraph warning of the dangers the Internet poses for encouraging terrorism, extremism, racism, and religious intolerance. This would have introduced to agreed UN language a loophole for online censorship antithetical to the purpose of the resolution and international standards. Fortunately it was voted down by a resounding 28 votes to 15, with 4 abstentions.[1] “We are alarmed that established democracies, such as South Africa and even India, distanced themselves from consensus by supporting China’s attempt to justify State censorship” Hughes said. “The fundamental importance of open, critical and even controversial expression on the Internet is a universal value that applies in all societies. Today the HRC ultimately rejected attempts to condition the enjoyment of human rights on the Internet on ‘duties and responsibilities’ of Internet users. That is an important win, which the HRC must continue to build upon.”

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Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to China, Australia and other countries, Mr. Abubakarr Multi Kamara, has been appointed Permanent Representative at the United Nations, replacing Mr. Shekou Touray whose predicament we had predicted many weeks ago. Touray is very likely to be re-assigned to another country or to another position in Freetown. Multi-Kamara has been replaced by the ruling party (APC) Secretary-General and former civil servant Mr. Victor Foh. Multi was not the original choice for Permanent Representative however, according to very reliable sources in Freetown.

Ambassador Multi-Kamara – possibly the finest name in international diplomacy.

In states where hate speech is prohibited by law, judicial remedies are, in no way an effective alternative to a swift condemnation from political leaders. In some cases, judicial remedies can even serve as an excuse for politicians to evade their own responsibility to speak out against hatred.

Human Rights Groups Unite to Support Non-Judicial Methods to Combat Racist Hate Speech | Human Rights First – a response from a group of US-based human rights organisations to the CERD discussion on racist hate speech earlier this week in Geneva.

In states where hate speech is prohibited by law, judicial remedies are, in no way an effective alternative to a swift condemnation from political leaders. In some cases, judicial remedies can even serve as an excuse for politicians to evade their own responsibility to speak out against hatred.

Human Rights Groups Unite to Support Non-Judicial Methods to Combat Racist Hate Speech | Human Rights First – a response from a group of US-based human rights organisations to the CERD discussion on racist hate speech earlier this week in Geneva.

On 28 August 2012 the Committee will host a thematic discussion on Racist Hate Speech, which will be held at the Palais des Nations from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Interested States parties, United Nations bodies and specialized agencies, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and academia are invited to be present at the meeting, share their experience and express their views. The thematic discussion will consider (a) the concept of racist hate speech and its evolution over time; (b) combating racist hate speech: the work of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; (c) racist hate speech and freedom of opinion and expression; and (d) racist hate speech in political life, and in the media including the internet.