Humanists UK calls for protection of humanist writers at United Nations

1 March, 2019

Rachel Taggart-Ryan at the UN Human Rights Council.

Humanists UK has urged the United Nations to protect humanist writers, poets, and authors from attack and to encourage countries to repeal all blasphemy and apostasy laws, in an intervention at the UN Human Rights Council today.

Speaking at the 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Humanists UK highlighted the recent campaign of attacks and murders against humanist and secularist writers in Bangladesh, including the humanist poet Shahzahan Bachchu who was shot dead in his home village in 2018.

Humanists UK also endorsed the call of the Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights, Karima Bennoune, to release the Mauritanian blogger Cheikh Ould Mohamed M’kheiter and the Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh, both of whom face the death penalty because their artistic expression was deemed to be blasphemous.

Humanists UK’s representative Rachel Taggart-Ryan also welcomed the Special Rapporteur’s recommendation to all member states to ‘review laws that discriminate against anyone on the basis of cultural or religious arguments and bring them into line with universal human rights standards.’


For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK press manager Casey-Ann Seaniger at or phone 020 7324 3078.

Read the intervention:

At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.