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US: Anti-Nazi Resolution at UN Restricts Free Speech

  • Associated Press

FILE - A supporter of Greece's extreme right Golden Dawn party gives a Nazi-style salute during a rally in Athens. The United States was one of three countries to vote against a U.N. resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism.

FILE - A supporter of Greece's extreme right Golden Dawn party gives a Nazi-style salute during a rally in Athens. The United States was one of three countries to vote against a U.N. resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism.

The United States was one of three countries to vote against a U.N. resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism, citing freedom of speech issues and concerns that Russia was using it to carry out political attacks against its neighbors.

The resolution – titled "Combating glorification of Nazism, Neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance" – was approved by the U.N.'s human rights committee Friday by a vote of 131-3, with 48 abstentions. Ukraine and Palau joined the United States in opposing the measure.

"We condemn without reservation all forms of religious and ethnic intolerance or hatred at home and around the world," said Deputy U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council Stefanie Amadeo, explaining the U.S. vote.

“However, due to this resolution's overly narrow scope and politicized nature, and because it calls for unacceptable limits on the fundamental freedom of expression, the United States cannot support it,” Amadeo said.

She said the U.S. also disagreed with the resolution's willing to curb freedom of expression even while sharing its concerns about the rise of hate speech around the world.

"This resolution's recommendations to limit freedom of expression, freedom of association, and the right to peaceful assembly contravene the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and must be opposed," Amadeo said.

Unlike resolutions in the Security Council, resolutions in General Assembly committees are not considered legally binding.

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