In the interactive dialogue with member states, France and then Belgium came out strongly, saying that people have rights, religions do not, and "the defamation of religions" has no place in human rights law. Almost as if they had read my statement (to come this afternoon we hope).
In his response to member states, Mr. Muigai clarified his position on the "shift" from defamation. This shift would eliminate "controversial nomenclature" while retaining the substance of the concerns and returning focus to the victims. He closed by expressing his support for the U.N. program on the Alliance of Civilizations, with which he has initiated a "dialogue." With that, the Special Rap. departed the floor, leaving behind a question mark about his commitment to freedom of expression.
Late in the day, Denmark spoke on behalf of the European paramount to insist on a distinction between criticism of religions and incitement to religion hatred, and to resist the integration of the "defamation of religions" into human rights law.