Italy makes Holocaust denial a crime

25th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

26 January 2007, Rome (dpa) - Italy's government agreed to make denying the Holocaust a crime and to stiffen prison sentences for those found guilty of inciting racial hatred. The bill draft, submitted by Justice Minister Clemente Mastella, received unanimous approval by the Romano Prodi cabinet. Ministry officials said those found guilty of spreading ideas about a race being superior to another would now risk up to three years in prison while acts designed to incite racial, ethnic, religious or sexual vio

26 January 2007

Rome (dpa) - Italy's government agreed to make denying the Holocaust a crime and to stiffen prison sentences for those found guilty of inciting racial hatred.

The bill draft, submitted by Justice Minister Clemente Mastella, received unanimous approval by the Romano Prodi cabinet.

Ministry officials said those found guilty of spreading ideas about a race being superior to another would now risk up to three years in prison while acts designed to incite racial, ethnic, religious or sexual violence would be punishable with a maximum four- year prison sentence.

Initially conceived to target Holocaust deniers, the bill was broadened to include all forms of intolerance after some members of the ruling centre-left coalition had expressed reservations about the appropriateness of using the criminal code to honour the millions of Jews killed in the Shoah.

Italian Jewish leaders welcomed the decision and expressed hope that other European countries would do the same.

Germany, which currently holds the European Union's rotating presidency, is pushing to make denying the Holocaust a crime in all member states.

Italy's draft bill must now be approved by parliament before it becomes law.

Holocaust Memorial Day will be celebrated in Italy on Saturday.

DPA

Subject: German news

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