ADF International


Why free speech matters – book presentation of Censored

Paul Coleman’s book Censored to be presented in Washington; event hosted by Ryan T. Anderson

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On 2 August 2016, ADF International will present the second edition of Paul Coleman’s book Censored – How European “Hate Speech” Laws Are Threatening Freedom of Speech published by Kairos Publications. The event will be hosted by Ryan T. Anderson, editor of the online journal Public Discourse and Research Fellow with The Heritage Foundation, at the Foundation’s Lehrman Auditorium from 12 p.m. onwards.

“In Europe’s recent past, speech restrictions were used by illiberal states to silence dissent. We should be greatly concerned by sleepwalking into the same situation today. But ‘hate speech’ laws are not only a growing concern in Europe. Also in the ‘land of the free’ censorship on campuses, in churches, and in the political sphere is omnipresent,” said Paul Coleman, Deputy Director of ADF International and author of the book.

The free speech situation grows worse as more ‘hate speech’ laws are passed and restrictions move from the criminal law into all aspects of life

“The free speech situation grows worse as more ‘hate speech’ laws are passed and restrictions move from the criminal law into all aspects of life, including university speech codes, workplace codes of conduct, and internet rules. Once the shrinking dictionary begins, there is no logical stopping point.”

The rise of “hate speech” laws

Censored addresses the rise of so-called “hate speech” laws throughout Europe and their devastating effect on freedom of speech. In Germany, for example, committing an “insult” is a criminal offence and in Poland offending “religious feelings” carries a two year prison sentence. In Cyprus, anyone who promotes “feelings of ill will” may be committing a crime, while in Sweden anyone who expresses “contempt” towards a group of people may be imprisoned.

Across Europe, such laws are readily being used. Ministers of religion are arrested for preaching sermons from the Bible, journalists are routinely fined, and even private conversations between citizens can result in criminal investigations. In fact, Censored documents more than fifty different “hate speech” cases throughout Europe, most of which have occurred in the last decade.

Presentation and discussion on 2 August at The Heritage Foundation

Ryan T. Anderson and Paul Coleman will present and discuss the book at The Heritage Foundation’s Lehrman Auditorium on 214 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington, D.C., on 2 August, from 12 p.m. onwards.

If you intend to come or are interested in a review copy, please contact

For more information on Censored go to

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Faith-based legal advocacy organization that protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people.