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Arts, Censorship and the Greek Law

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Blasphemy versus Hate Speech

image of International Human Rights Law Review

The article discusses the Greek legal framework concerning artistic freedom and highlights the discrepancy between international human rights standards and the Greek practice as exemplified by a variety of incidents of censorship. Focusing on specific features of the Greek constitution and the national laws on obscenity and hate speech, the article examines the practice of censorship on the grounds of either blasphemy or offence to public morals and national values. At the same time it underscores the exponential rise in hate crimes, including against artists, as exemplified by the murder of young rapper Fyssas in 2014. It argues that the practice of seizure of publications, along with the lack of effective legal framework that combats hate speech, have both significantly contributed to raising self-censorship among artists and maintaining the culture of vexatious jurisdiction from which Greece suffers.

Affiliations: 1: Lecturer in Law, Brunel Law School, Brunel University London,


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