Letter to Access Now

Published: 2016-07-18

Deniz Duru Aydin -Policy Fellow

[email protected]

[email protected]

Dear Access Now: 

Greetings from the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust. George Orwell wrote “If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.”

We are contacting you as part of our outreach to progressive organizations to encourage defense of free speech and open discussion.  We are asking people to Speak Up for Free Speech and ask that you share this e-mail letter with your Board of Directors.

Few people know that asking questions or expressing doubt about “Official History” has been made a felony in many Western Countries. These laws are generally directed at what is called "Holocaust Denial."  

The penalties in France can be up to five years in jail. In Austria, the maximum sentence is 20 years. The number of cases is low but there is a constant persecution of artists, entertainers, and scholars under these laws. This campaign has grown more fanatical and extreme in the last year with the politicians zeroing in on the Internet.  On July 17 German Federal Minister of Justice Heiko Maas attacked Facebook for failing to enforce censorship on posts while 4 days earlier German police launched dozens of raids to seize computers and servers.  Now limitations to Internet speech are under discussion in countries that have had a more-open policy regarding speech, including Brazil, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bolivia, Kenya and Nigeria. 

 For an outline of the issues as they relate to historical revisionism, please see here 

There are many reasons why laws that criminalize discussion and debate are wrong. CODOH is collecting people's comments on these laws and posting them. We ask people at Access Now to send a video explaining your answer to the question "Why do you support open debate on the Holocaust?" to [email protected].  Each video we post is a stand for Internet Free Speech

See our video on Youtube here

Respectfully, 

David Merlin,  

Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust 

PO Box 20774 

York  PA 17402 

[email protected]   

 

"The enemies of tolerance are not always the same. Nor are their targets. However, one certain sign of bigotry is an unwillingness to allow others to speak".  —CODOH Founder Bradley Smith            

 

Additional information about this document

Author(s) David Merlin
Title Letter to Access Now
Sources https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OAlBWA2Jvc http://codohfounder.com/letter-to-pen/
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Dates published: 2016-07-18, first posted on CODOH: July 18, 2016, 6:05 p.m., last revision: n/a
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