Italian Parliament introduces holocaust denial legislation

Oct. 16, 2013 at 7:55 AM
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ROME, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Italian members of Parliament introduced an amendment to the country's criminal code that, if passed, would make holocaust denial a crime, officials said.

The legislation was signed Tuesday by politicians across several parties, including the center-left Democratic Party, the center-right People of Freedom Party and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, ANSA reported.

''It would be a significant response to all those episodes of revisionism, alas all too present in Italy and in Europe, that seek to distort history and memory," said Democratic Party Sen. Monica Cirinna. "Particularly on the eve of the tragic 70th anniversary of the Nazi raid on Rome's Jewish ghetto. On Oct. 16, 1943, more than 1,000 Roman Jews were deported to Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps. Only seven returned.''

"A hateful attitude, which now becomes a prosecutable crime,'' she added.

Holocaust denial is already either implicitly or explicitly a crime in 17 countries, including Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Switzerland and Romania.

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