Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Give us back our free speech: 'Strangled by law that bans insults' and is abused by over-zealous police and prosecutors

Theresa May is being urged to reform a controversial law which bans ‘insulting words or behaviour’ amid mounting evidence that it is strangling free speech.

Campaigners say the Public Order Act is being abused by over-zealous police and prosecutors to arrest Christian street preachers, critics of Scientology, gay rights campaigners and even students making jokes.

Currently, Section 5 of the 1986 Act outlaws ‘insulting words or behaviour’, but what constitutes ‘insulting’ is unclear and has resulted in a string of controversial arrests.

Human rights campaigners, MPs, faith groups and secular organisations have joined forces to have the ‘insulting words or behaviour’ phrase removed from the legislation, arguing that it restricts freedom of speech and penalises campaigners, protesters and even preachers. Read More