Northern Ireland: Cancellation of Bible comedy is 'interference with freedom of speech'
Responding to news that two planned performances of a comedy about the Bible due to take place in Northern Ireland have been cancelled by a local council seemingly because the production would cause offence to Christians, Amnesty International said such interference with freedom of speech should be of concern to freedom-lovers everywhere.
The Bible: The Complete Word of God (Abridged) by The Reduced Shakespeare Company was due to be performed in County Antrim on 29 and 30 January, but the performances were cancelled by the Newtownabbey Borough Council.
Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International Programme Director for Northern Ireland, said:
"It is well-established in international human rights law that the right to freedom of expression, though not absolute, is a fundamental right which may only be restricted in certain limited circumstances to do with the 'advocacy of hatred'.
“It is quite obvious that those circumstances are not met in the context of this work of comedy and thus that the cancelling of the play is utterly unjustified on human rights grounds.
“Such interference with freedom of speech and artistic expression should be of concern to freedom-lovers everywhere."