Right of Reply at HDIM 2019 Working Session 15
As delivered by Mischa Thompson
Director of Global Partnerships, Policy, and Innovation, U.S. Helsinki Commission
to the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw,
September 25, 2019
The United States is a staunch supporter of the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and religion or belief. No delegation has done more to protect freedom of expression while condemning the ideas with which we disagree. We condemn the glorification of Nazism and all forms of hatred, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia, but we will continue to object when some seek to use these issues as a political tool to advance other agendas or as an excuse to unduly restrict fundamental freedoms. We also would like to recall that hate crimes and hate speech are not interchangeable. Speech, even hateful speech, is protected by the right to freedom of expression except when it crosses the line into violence or incitement to imminent violence.