Iceland has legalised blasphemy following a campaign started by the Pirate party after the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks in France. The move to repeal the 75-year-old law, under which blasphemers could be imprisoned for up to three months or fined, faced opposition from some church groups.
In a statement on its website, the party wrote that it was a victory for freedom of speech and showed the principle could not be defeated by terrorist attacks. The law, which was passed in 1940, had been an attack on “humorists and all the friends of freedom of expression”, the party added.
The bill that it introduced read: “Freedom of expression is one of the cornerstones of democracy. It is fundamental to a free society that people should be able to express themselves without fear of punishment, whether from the authorities or from other people.”