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Sedition Case An Assault on Free Speech - Libz Leader

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  • Libertarianz Media Centre
    PRESS RELEASE Libertarianz Freedom of Speech Sedition Case An Assault on Free Speech - Libz Leader ====================================== Tim Selwyn s
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 5, 2006
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      PRESS RELEASE
      Libertarianz
      Freedom of Speech

      Sedition Case An Assault on Free Speech - Libz Leader
      ======================================

      "Tim Selwyn's prosecution for sedition once again highlights this
      government's contempt for freedom of expression," said Libertarianz leader
      Bernard Darnton today.

      "Selwyn's act of vandalism has already been dealt with under a separate
      charge, to which he's pleaded guilty. The sedition charge is simply an
      attempt to punish criticism of the government.

      "The law against sedition is a medieval hangover that should be removed from
      our law books immediately. Sedition law is an assault on free speech - it
      only criminalises political expression. Speech that really incites violence
      can be dealt with under existing laws against public disorder, as pointed
      out by Sir Geoffrey Palmer during a review of Crimes Act Reform: 'Sedition
      should not be a crime in a democratic society committed to free speech.
      Libelling the government must be permitted in a free society.'

      "Using this archaic law to try and silence its critics is typical of both
      this government's high-handedness and its disrespect for freedom of
      expression.

      "Freedom of expression is the most important pillar of a free society and
      yet this government has a terrible record in defending it. They have
      investigated regulating hate speech; they have kept holocaust-deniers from
      visiting the country because of their objectionable opinions; they have told
      newspaper editors to sacrifice their freedom to print satirical cartoons
      because it might cost us a few trade dollars; and now they are pursuing a
      protester with an outdated law because he dared to question their
      confiscation of the foreshore and seabed.

      "Sedition law makes it illegal to bring into 'hatred or contempt [...] the
      Government of New Zealand'. Yet with its lack of concern for freedom of
      expression this government is worthy only of hatred and contempt."

      ENDS

      For further information please contact:
      Bernard Darnton
      Libertarianz Leader
      Phone: 021 324 466
      Email: bernard.darnton@...

      Libertarianz: More Freedom - Less Government
      www.libertarianz.org.nz
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