Ninety-nine individuals were convicted last year by the Maltese Courts for public blasphemy, when compared to the 119 convictions carried out from January to July of the previous year.

The information formed part of the report on human rights practices for 2012, compiled by the US Department of State.

Maltese law prohibits vilification of or giving offense to the Roman Catholic Church, which is also Malta's official religion.

In Malta, it is a criminal offense to utter publicly any obscene or indecent words, make obscene acts or gestures or in any other way offend public morality, propriety or decency.