CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, January 26, 2007

Italy: Holocaust Deniers to Face Criminal Penalties

Just in time for Holocaust Memorial Day in Italy, which is honored tomorrow, Italy's government has agreed to make denying the Holocaust a crime and to stiffen prison sentences for those found guilty of inciting racial hatred. 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. Nonetheless, the bill draft received unanimous approval by the Italian cabinet.  With approval from the parliament, the bill will become an official law, and 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. Germany, which currently holds the European Union's rotating presidency, is pushing to make denying the Holocaust a crime in all member states. Full Story from . . [Michele Berry]

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