This post was written by Friday guest blogger Annie Reid.
Orhan Pamuk, author of Snow and My Name is Red, was supposed to go on trial today in Turkey for allegedly “insulting Turkish identity” for talking about the Armenian massacre of 1915. But the trial was postponed until February, amid speculation that the show trial might cost Turkey its bid for EU membership.
Boyd Tonkin at the Independent discusses the Pamuk case, and points out that free speech faces a threat at the other end of Europe:
Less dramatically, the UK government plans to bring back into the Commons its much-mauled bill to outlaw incitement to “religious hatred”. If this sloppy, opportunistic measure passes, even as amended in the Lords, it stands well within the bounds of possibility that an aggrieved zealot could innocently hire a lawyer to lay a complaint about – say – the satirical fun that Pamuk pokes at Islamist hardliners in his latest novel, Snow.