Jon Krause

Die Krise der freien Meinungsäußerung

LONDON – Kürzlich, auf einem Literaturfestival in Großbritannien, nahm ich an einer Diskussionsrunde zum Thema der freien Meinungsäußerung teil. Liberale halten diese für ein Hauptmerkmal von Freiheit. Demokratien treten für sie ein, Diktaturen unterdrücken sie.

Diese Ansicht ist in der westlichen Weltanschauung weiterhin vorherrschend. Regierungen, die Äußerungen unterdrücken, mit Gefängnis bestrafen oder sogar Schriftsteller und Journalisten hinrichten, werden von uns verdammt. Reporter ohne Grenzen führt eine Liste: Dieses Jahr wurden bereits 24 Journalisten ermordet und 148 eingesperrt. Ein Teil der Hoffnungen, die wir mit dem “arabischen Frühling” verbinden, liegt in der Befreiung der Medien aus den Klauen der Diktatoren.

Im Westen jedoch ist die Freiheit der Meinungsäußerung gefährdet. Traditionell setzt das britische Recht dem “Recht auf freie Rede” vor allem zwei Grenzen: Die erste Einschränkung betrifft Wörter oder Ausdrücke, die die öffentliche Ordnung stören könnten, und die zweite erfolgt durch das Gesetz gegen Verleumdung. Für beide gibt es gute Gründe: Bewahrung des Friedens und der Schutz des Individuums vor Lügen. Die meisten freien Gesellschaften halten diese Einschränkungen für sinnvoll.

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