‘Tightening the Noose’

“The European Parliament has introduced a new procedural rule, which allows for the chair of a debate to interrupt the live broadcasting of a speaking MEP

“in the case of defamatory, racist or xenophobic language or behavior by a Member”.

“Furthermore, the President of the European Parliament may even

“decide to delete from the audiovisual record of the proceedings those parts of a speech by a Member that contain defamatory, racist or xenophobic language”.

No one, however, has bothered to define what constitutes

defamatory, racist or xenophobic language or behavior“.

“This omission means that the chair of any debate in the European Parliament is free to decide, without any guidelines or objective criteria, whether the statements of MEPs are “defamatory, racist or xenophobic”. The penalty for offenders can apparently reach up to around 9,000 euros.

{Would this speech qualify?: https://t.co/eKLxo0zOpW }

“There have been a growing number of cases of politicians saying things that are beyond the pale of normal parliamentary discussion and debate,” said British EU parliamentarian Richard Corbett, who has defended the new rule. Mr. Corbett, however, does not specify what he considers “beyond the pale”.

“In June 2016, Mahmoud Abbas, president of the ‘Palestinian Authority’, addressed the European Parliament in a speech, which drew on old anti-Semitic blood libels, such as falsely accusing Israeli rabbis of calling on the Israeli government to poison the water used by Palestinian Arabs. Such a clearly incendiary and anti-Semitic speech was not only allowed in parliament by the sensitive and “anti-racist” parliamentarians; it received a standing ovation. Evidently, wild anti-Semitic blood libels pronounced by Arabs do not constitute

“things that are beyond the pale of normal parliamentary discussion and debate”.

“The European Parliament apparently did not even bother to publicize their new procedural rule; it was only made public by Spain’s ‘La Vanguardia’ newspaper. Voters were, it appears, not supposed to know that they may be cut off from listening to the live broadcasts of the parliamentarians they elected to represent them in the EU, if some chairman of a debate subjectively happened to decide that what was being said was “racist, defamatory or xenophobic”.

“The European Parliament is the only popularly-elected institution in the EU…

“The rule strikes at the very center of free speech, namely that of elected politicians, which the ‘European Court of Human Rights’ has deemed in its practice to be specially protected. Members of the European Parliament are people who have been elected to make the voices of their constituents heard inside the institutions of the ‘European Union’. Limiting their freedom of speech is undemocratic, worrisome, and spookily Orwellian.

“The rule can only have a chilling effect on freedom of speech in the European Parliament and will likely prove a convenient tool in trying to shut up those parliamentarians who do not follow the politically correct narrative of the EU.

“The European Parliament lately seems to be waging war against free speech. At the beginning of March, the body lifted the parliamentary immunity of French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. Her crime? Tweeting three images of ISIS executions in 2015. In France, “publishing violent images” constitutes a criminal offense, which can carry a penalty of three years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros.

“By lifting her immunity at the same time that she is running for president of France, the European Parliament is sending the clear signal that publicizing the graphic and horrifying truth of the crimes of ISIS, rather than being received as a warning about what might soon be coming to Europe, instead ought to be punished…”

–‘European Parliament Censors Its Own Free Speech’,
Judith Bergman, Gatestone Institute, March 11, 2017

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10023/european-parliament-free-speech

‘EU and French Judiciary Trying To Take Down Le Pen’:

“European Union legislators have “overwhelmingly” voted to lift the EU parliamentary immunity of French Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen for tweeting pictures of ISIS violence.

“Ms Le Pen, a member of the European parliament, is under investigation in France for posting three graphic images of ISIS executions on ‘Twitter’ in 2015, including the beheading of the United States journalist James Foley.

“Ms Le Pen’s immunity shields her from prosecution and lifting it would permit legal action against her. The offence being considered is “publishing violent images”, which under certain circumstances can carry a penalty of three years in prison and a fine of €75,000 (£64,000).

Responding to a request from the French judiciary, the EU MEPs in the legal affairs committee voted to lift her immunity, EU officials said. The committee’s decision will have to be backed by the whole parliament in a second vote, possibly this week.

“MEPs “overwhelmingly voted to lift Le Pen’s immunity,”
said Eurosceptic ‘5 Star Movement’ lawmaker Laura Ferrara. A Parliament official said 18 lawmakers voted in favour of removing Ms Le Pen’s immunity and three voted against.

“Ms Le Pen could not immediately be reached for comment.

“Showing and naming the horror of Islamism allow us to fight against it,” Florian Philippot, the vice president of Le Pen’s far-right ‘National Front’ party, told ‘Reuters’…

“She has denounced the legal proceedings against her as political interference in the campaign, where she is the lead candidate, and called for a moratorium on judicial investigations until the election period has passed.

“Polls say Ms Le Pen should win the first of the two election rounds but lose in the runoff. They also show that her legal battles seem to have little effect on her supporters.

“Ms Le Pen’s immunity has been lifted before, in 2013. She was then prosecuted in 2015 with

“incitement to discrimination over people’s religious beliefs”,

for comparing Muslims praying in public to the Nazi occupation of France during the Second World War. Prosecutors eventually recommended the charges be dropped.”

–‘European Parliament committee votes to lift Marine Le Pen’s immunity from prosecution over ISIS images’,
Francesco Guarascio, The Independent (U.K.), 28 February 2017

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/european-union-vote-lift-marine-le-pen-immunity-tweet-isis-violence-a7604506.html

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