Author Topic: EU aims to criminalise Holocaust denial  (Read 6676 times)

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The_Professor

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EU aims to criminalise Holocaust denial
« on: April 18, 2007, 04:42:09 PM »
EU aims to criminalise Holocaust denial
By Tobias Buck in Brussels

Published: April 17 2007 19:56 | Last updated: April 17 2007 19:56

Laws that make denying or trivialising the Holocaust a criminal offence punishable by jail sentences will be introduced across the European Union, according to a proposal expecting to win backing from ministers Thursday.

Offenders will face up to three years in jail under the proposed legislation, which will also apply to inciting violence against ethnic, religious or national groups.

Diplomats in Brussels voiced confidence on Tuesday that the controversial plan, which has been the subject of heated debate for six years, will be endorsed by member states. However, the Baltic countries and Poland are still holding out for an inclusion of “Stalinist crimes” alongside the Holocaust in the text – a move that is being resisted by the majority of other EU countries.

The latest draft, seen by the Financial Times, will make it mandatory for all Union member states to punish public incitement “to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin”.

They will also have to criminalise “publicly condoning, denying or grossly trivialising crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes” when such statements incite hatred or violence against minorities.

Diplomats stressed the provision had been carefully worded to include only denial of the Holocaust – the Nazi mass murder of Jews during the second world war – and the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

They also stressed that the wording was designed to avoid criminalising comical plays or films about the Holocaust such as the Italian comedian Roberto Benigni’s prize-winning Life is Beautiful . The text expressly upholds countries’ constitutional traditions relating to the freedom of expression.

Holocaust denial is already a criminal offence in several European countries, including Germany and Austria. It is not a specific crime in Britain, though UK officials said it could already be tackled under existing legislation.

In an attempt to assuage Turkish fears, several EU diplomats said the provisions would not penalise the denial of mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman troops in the aftermath of the 1915 collapse of the Ottoman empire. Turkey strongly rejects claims that this episode amounted to genocide.

The proposal draws what is likely to be a controversial distinction between inciting violence against racial or ethnic groups and against religious groups. Attacks against Muslims, Jews or other faiths will only be penalised if they go on to incite violence against ethnic or racial groups, the draft text states.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/122134be-ed14-11db-9520-000b5df10621.html

Amianthus

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Re: EU aims to criminalise Holocaust denial
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2007, 07:50:22 PM »
Next step: "Thought Police".
Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. (Benjamin Franklin)

sirs

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Re: EU aims to criminalise Holocaust denial
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2007, 07:53:42 PM »
BAD Move
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle

Plane

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Re: EU aims to criminalise Holocaust denial
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2007, 12:39:42 AM »
I can't favor legislation to tell people how to think.

sirs

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Re: EU aims to criminalise Holocaust denial
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2007, 01:03:44 AM »
I can't favor legislation to tell people how to think.

Precisely
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle

_JS

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Re: EU aims to criminalise Holocaust denial
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2007, 09:50:32 AM »
Excellent move by the European Union. The only groups that use this rubbish in Europe are the BNP, National Front, and other neo-fascists who do their best to incite riots and harm the public anyway.

It is already law in many European nations and:

Quote
They also stressed that the wording was designed to avoid criminalising comical plays or films about the Holocaust such as the Italian comedian Roberto Benigni’s prize-winning Life is Beautiful . The text expressly upholds countries’ constitutional traditions relating to the freedom of expression.

The law has been in place in West Germany (now Germany) for years and has never led to "thought crime" or any other absurd extremist notion.
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sirs

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Re: EU aims to criminalise Holocaust denial
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2007, 11:53:56 AM »
Excellent move by the European Union.

So sad.  My respect for Js's opinions has just dropped a notch, I'm afraid      :-[
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle

Plane

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Re: EU aims to criminalise Holocaust denial
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2007, 12:17:52 PM »
Excellent move by the European Union. The only groups that use this rubbish in Europe are the BNP, National Front, and other neo-fascists who do their best to incite riots and harm the public anyway.

It is already law in many European nations and:

Quote
They also stressed that the wording was designed to avoid criminalising comical plays or films about the Holocaust such as the Italian comedian Roberto Benigni’s prize-winning Life is Beautiful . The text expressly upholds countries’ constitutional traditions relating to the freedom of expression.

The law has been in place in West Germany (now Germany) for years and has never led to "thought crime" or any other absurd extremist notion.



  Is there no right to be wrong?

_JS

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Re: EU aims to criminalise Holocaust denial
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2007, 12:56:16 PM »
Did you all read what the article says:

Quote
They will also have to criminalise “publicly condoning, denying or grossly trivialising crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes” when such statements incite hatred or violence against minorities.

Tell me again why this is a problem for you? You realise of course that the Freedom of speech in the United States is conditional, correct?
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sirs

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Re: EU aims to criminalise Holocaust denial
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2007, 01:25:09 PM »
So, Js, are you going to be interviewing for the position of deciding what does and doesn't incite hatred?  And if it's egregious rhetoric aimed at the "majority", that's perfectly ok then, right?

Do you have any idea how bad an idea this is.  This isn't yelling "fire" in a crowded theatre.  This is some organization body deciding what is and isn't "inciting hatred".  This is precisely what Plane & ami have been referining, the road to the thought police.  And you don't have a problem with that??     :-\
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle

_JS

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Re: EU aims to criminalise Holocaust denial
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2007, 03:23:32 PM »
Sirs, why must you take this to extreme absurdity? West Germany (now Germany) has had this law for many years and is there "thought crime" in that country? Of course not.

You realise of course that "inciting a riot" is a crime in the United States as well, I presume. We limit the freedom of speech in this country all the time beyond the cliche of "yelling 'fire!' in a crowded theatre."

You cannot walk up to a co-worker and threaten them. Advertisers cannot claim anything they like about their product. You cannot engage in slander.

Incitement to racial hatred has become more common as a law in European nations, especially if you know something about their recent histories (Brixton Riots, Yugoslav Wars, for examples).

Also note that you are comparing the American system with non-compatible systems of government.
I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
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Amianthus

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Re: EU aims to criminalise Holocaust denial
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2007, 03:33:34 PM »
West Germany (now Germany) has had this law for many years and is there "thought crime" in that country? Of course not.

Quote
Holocaust denier arrested in Austria
HARTBERG, Austria Nov. 18 (UPI) -- A writer who claims the Nazi gas chambers were a fiction has been arrested in Austria on a 16-year-old warrant.

David Irving was picked up in Hartberg after police received a tip that he was in the country, the Times of London reported. He had gone to Austria to address a far-right group.

Irving was considered a serious historian of the Nazi era until 1988, when he first emerged as a Holocaust denier. In 2000, he lost a libel suit in London when a judge found that he had falsified history. He has also been fined in Germany.
Article

What riots did David Irving incite? Seems like he was arrested for doing nothing other than speaking out his opinion - wrong as it may be.
Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. (Benjamin Franklin)

_JS

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Re: EU aims to criminalise Holocaust denial
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2007, 03:37:13 PM »
I cannot speak for Austrian law, but that is clearly not the model for the EU law or did you not read this?

Quote
They will also have to criminalise “publicly condoning, denying or grossly trivialising crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes” when such statements incite hatred or violence against minorities.

That seems rather specific. Austrian law is what it is, yet it is not EU law.


I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains.
They're only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
   So stuff my nose with garlic
   Coat my eyes with butter
   Fill my ears with silver
   Stick my legs in plaster
   Tell me lies about Vietnam.

modestyblase

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Re: EU aims to criminalise Holocaust denial
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2007, 03:42:28 PM »
Since it's not in the U.S., they can do as they wish.
I would rather see them appeal to reason. It may be difficult and time consuming and it may take years-decades-but the end effect would be more impressive. "Outlawing" it could well turn Neo-Nazi's into speech and idea-defending martyrs. Sticky implications.

Amianthus

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Re: EU aims to criminalise Holocaust denial
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2007, 03:48:36 PM »
That seems rather specific. Austrian law is what it is, yet it is not EU law.

The Austrian law is nearly identical to the German law, which you were defending, seeming to claim that arresting and imprisoning someone for just speaking an incorrect opinion would not happen.
Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. (Benjamin Franklin)