Italy Senate Moves To Outlaw Denial Of Holocaust And Genocides


14:49, 12 Feb 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Italian senators on Wednesday voted in favour of a bill criminalizing
Holocaust denial, following changes to the proposed law to protect
freedom of speech.

A total of 234 senators voted for the bill, while eight abstained
and three voted against the new law, Il Sole 24 Ore reported.

Under the law people will face a three-year sentence for promoting,
inciting or committing acts of racial discrimination based in part
or entirely on the denial of the Holocaust. Crimes against humanity
and war crimes are also covered in the bill, which now needs to pass
through Italy’s lower house before it can become law.

The Senate vote follows revisions which lawmakers say ensure freedom
of speech and the freedom to study are upheld.

Senator Giuseppe Lumia, part of the justice committee, said the vote
marked a “turning point” in Italy.

“Denying the Holocaust and genocides will be punished as in so many
other countries,” he was quoted in Il Sole as saying.

France and Germany are among the European states which have
criminalized Holocaust denial. A British bishop was in 2013 convicted
of the crime, after giving an interview to Swedish television in which
he questioned the number of Jews killed in Nazi concentration camps.