23 March 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Free Speech Coalition says the Censor’s banning of the Christchurch terrorist attacker’s manifesto is wrong, unconstitutional, and counterproductive.
“This is a completely improper use of the censorship powers,” says Coalition Spokesman and constitutional lawyer, Stephen Franks, responding to media reports of the banning.
“Most New Zealanders will have no interest in reading the rants of an evil person. But there is a major debate going on right now on the causes of extremism. Kiwis should not be wrapped in cotton wool with their news and information censored.”
“New Zealanders need to be able to understand the nature of evil and how it expresses itself.”
“Our society has surmounted many more terrible threats than this by allowing each citizen to engage, hear, read, and reject evil for themselves. It is completely alien to our history and our strength of a self-ruling citizenry to be told that only those in power may know and tell us what they want us to think an evil person has written.”
“For the same reason we don’t ban Mein Kampf, the manifesto should not be driven underground.”