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Greek hate crimes law: Threat to free speech?

Athens, Greece – After Greece’s passing of an anti-racism law was hailed last month as an important step to stem a rising tide of xenophobic violence, rights groups are cautioning against potential curbs to freedom of speech and association.

“Racial motivation can be attached to any felony or misdemeanour in the Greek criminal code and this will hopefully make it more likely that the police and prosecutors will investigate [this] motivation and easier for the courts to apply it,” said Eva Cosse, a senior research assistant and Greece specialist at New York-based Human Rights Watch.

After being introduced in parliament in November 2013, Greece passed the latest draft of its anti-discrimination law on September 9. The law bolsters the country’s decades-old hate crimes legislation, handing out three-year prison terms and levying fines of between $38,000-$125,000 for instigating racism, and inciting violence, respectively.

The law also criminalises the denial of crimes against humanity and acts of genocide, such as the Holocaust.

We need to take care, very seriously, about possible applications of the law which violate freedom of expression.

– Dimitris Christopoulos, Panteion University

“Reinforcing our legislative arsenal is demanded more than ever today, when the enemies of democracy and those who deny the human substance preach hatred,” Justice Minister Haralambos Athanassiou told parliament last month.

While racist discrimination has been punishable in Greece since 1979, the courts largely failed to use the legislation. In 2008, Greece designated religious, national and racial hatred, and hatred based on sexual orientation as aggravated circumstances in criminal acts, allowing judges to apply the maximum penalty to perpetrators. But according to Cosse, this amendment was never applied in practice.

“Before, racist motivation could be considered only during a trial at the sentencing phase, after determination of guilt,” she said. “Hopefully, now [with the new law], prosecutors will be willing to [consider it sooner]. They have the tools, and it’s now their responsibility.”

Greek police ‘ill-equipped’

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Greek hate crimes law: Threat to free speech?

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Greek Parliament Adopts Bill Criminalizing Genocide Denial

ATHENS, September 10 (RIA Novosti) – The Greek Parliament has approved a new anti-racism bill that criminalizes the denial of the Holocaust and the Greek, Armenian and Assyrian genocides.

A bill introducing penalties for those who incite violence or hatred on the grounds of race, religion and ethnic origin, was adopted by the Greek parliament on Tuesday. In addition, the new law makes it illegal to deny the genocides of Jews, Armenians, Assyrians and Ottoman Greeks.

Parties or associations supporting racism may be deprived of state funding for a period of one to six months and receive fines up to 100,000 euros (just under $130,000). Individuals promoting racism may receive fines of up to 30,000 euros (about $39,000). Hate crimes will be punished by up to three years imprisonment.

Representatives from the ruling coalition, consisting of the New Democracy and PASOK parties, voted in favor of the bill. The Democratic Left party and some independent members of the parliament also welcomed the new measures.

The left-wing opposition abstained from voting or voted against the bill. The Greek Communist Party stated that the new law would criminalize the labor movement and the Communist ideology under the guise of fighting racism.

The far-right Golden Dawn party also voted against, stating that the law could be used to target not only racists, but all those opposed to the ruling regime.

Greek officials have worked on the bill for nearly two years, which is part of an effort to harmonize Greek laws with European Union standards. The Ministry of Justice added denial of genocides to the list of crimes upon request of 38 New Democracy parliamentarians.

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Greek Parliament Adopts Bill Criminalizing Genocide Denial

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Greece Passes Bill Making Holocaust-Denial Illegal, Tougher Anti-Racism Laws

Hate Crimes Have Surged Alongside Rise of Golden Dawn

Getty Images

Published September 09, 2014.

Greek lawmakers on Tuesday passed a bill toughening anti-racism laws and making Holocaust denial a criminal act, as it cracks down on a wave of xenophobic attacks that have come amid the countrys worst-ever peace-time financial crisis.

A gateway into the European Union for thousands of migrants from Asia and Africa, Greece is home to more than 1 million undocumented migrants, who face growing hostility as the country struggles through a six-year recession and record unemployment.

Hate crimes have surged alongside the rise of the fiercely anti-immigrant Golden Dawn party, whose top members are in jail pending trial on charges of setting up a criminal group that attacks immigrants and opponents. They deny the accusations.

Reinforcing our legislative arsenal is demanded more than ever today, when the enemies of democracy and those who deny the human substance preach hatred, Justice Minister Haralambos Athanassiou told parliament last week.

The bill raises the prison term for instigating hate crimes to three years from two and allows prosecutors to investigate crimes even if the victims fail to report them to authorities.

It also imposes fines of up to 30,000 euros for those instigating racism and up to 100,000 euros for groups involved in racially motivated crimes, in addition to banning them from receiving state funding for up to six months.

A controversial article criminalizing the denial or trivialisation of the Holocaust, Nazi war atrocities and genocide, was voted for by 54 of the 99 lawmakers present during the summer session.

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Greece Passes Bill Making Holocaust-Denial Illegal, Tougher Anti-Racism Laws

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Greece approves anti-racism bill

Athens (dpa) – The Greek parliament on Tuesday passed an anti-racism bill allowing for stricter penalties for individuals and political parties that engage in racism or incite racist violence.

The long-delayed bill follows dozens of violent attacks against immigrants in Greece and a increase in popular support for the extreme-right party Golden Dawn.

The new legislation allows the prosecution of racial abuse without requiring victims to take any legal action and imposes prison sentences of up to three years and large penalties for anyone convicted of inciting racial violence.

More than 100 Greek historians and academics have expressed reservations over aspects of the legislation designed to outlaw Holocaust denial and expand prosecution powers against the incitement of racial violence.

Specifically, experts have raised concern over Article 2 of the bill, which seeks to criminalise denial of the Holocaust and other genocides for impeding freedom of speech.

“Our stance is not based on tolerance of the deniers of hideous crimes, nor from a reluctance to punish criminal acts, but from the conviction that as international experience has shown such measures lead to dangerous paths, they impinge on the democratic and inalienable right to freedom of speech,” a statement signed by 139 experts said.

Human Rights Watch welcomed the legislation, but noted that it “does not include measures to encourage reporting of violent hate crimes or to ensure appropriate action by the police and judiciary to counter hate violence.”

# Notebook

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Greece approves anti-racism bill

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Anti-racism Words from Dic(tionary)

Anti-racism: (n) the policy of opposing racism and promoting racial tolerance.

It is cruel, insane and useless to walk up to a man having a heart attack, lying on a gurney and proffer, You shouldnt have eaten so much bacon.

Warnings have to come at the right time, or they are either petty bitchiness or meaningless babble.

Anti-racism is similar to this. We all grew up in households where preferences were promoted. So it is ridiculous to think that were going to ease our way into a world where color doesnt matter.

We must stop arresting the neighbors who live next door to the Bodega that was vandalized and start looking for the actual perpetrators.

What causes racism?

1. Too much emphasis on culture.

Matter of fact, Im not comfortable with any emphasis on culture. When I begin to believe that the Chinese, the Africans, the Jews, the Arabs and the Europeans have different ways of looking at life, I am setting myself up to feel arrogant over my rendition.

2. Take away the stigma of loving who you want to love.

Even though we are willing to accept that the chimpanzee or ape is our ancestor, we are not able to procreate with one. Yet there is no human being of any color or ethnic origin who cannot pair off and make a baby. What a piece of hypocrisy.

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Anti-racism Words from Dic(tionary)

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Greek academics say anti-racism bill risks interference with freedom of expression

Greek academics say anti-racism bill risks interference with freedom of expression

More than one hundred Greek historians and academics have expressed reservations over aspects of draft legislation designed to outlaw Holocaust denial and expand prosecution powers against the incitement of racial violence.

A statement signed by 139 experts welcomed government measures to curb racism and racially-motivated violence. However, it expressed concern over Article 2 of the bill which seeks to criminalize denial of the Holocaust and other genocides for impeding freedom of speech.

Our stance is not based on tolerance of the ‘deniers’ of hideous crimes, nor from a reluctance to punish criminal acts, but from the conviction that, as international experience has shown, such measures lead to dangerous paths: they impinge on the democratic and inalienable right to freedom of speech, the statement said.

Furthermore, [such measures] have proved totally ineffective in fighting racism and Nazism, racism and hate speech, it said.

The anti-racism bill was approved in principle on Tuesday by Parliaments summer session. A second vote on the bills articles is to be held on Friday.

Greece’s Ombudsman said it received complaints of 281 suspected racist and homophobic attacks in the 16 months before May 2013, resulting in four deaths and 135 injuries.

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Greek academics say anti-racism bill risks interference with freedom of expression

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Anti-racism bill approved in principle, final vote Friday

Anti-racism bill approved in principle, final vote Friday

An anti-racism bill introducing tougher penalties for individuals and political parties that engage in racism or incite racist violence and those who praise acts of genocide was approved in principle on Tuesday by Parliaments summer session. A second vote on the bills articles is to be held on Friday.

The bill, passed after months of delays, foresees jail terms of up to three years and large fines for those that incite attacks against people based on their race or sexual orientation. Those who praise historical acts of genocide such as the Holocaust, the mass killing of Armenians, Christians in Asia Minor and Black Sea Greeks, face similar treatment.

But Justice Minister Haralambos Athanasiou rebuffed a demand by opposition parties, and some PASOK MPs, for the bill to include a provision extending a cohabitation pact, granting unmarried couples greater rights, to same-sex partnerships. He said the issue will be studied separately.

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Anti-racism bill approved in principle, final vote Friday

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Greek lawmakers debate anti-racism bill

Athens (dpa) – Greek lawmakers began debating an anti-racism bill Tuesday that would impose stricter penalties for individuals and political parties that engage in racism or incite racist violence, parliament sources told dpa.

The long-delayed bill follows dozens of violent attacks against immigrants in Greece and a increase in popular support for the extreme-right party Golden Dawn.

The draft legislation, to be voted on Friday, imposes prison sentences of up to three years and large penalties for anyone convicted for inciting racial violence, the sources said on the condition of anonymity.

The bill is likely to pass after receiving the support from two left-wing opposition parties.

According to a report in the daily Kathimerini newspaper, those who praise the Holocaust or any case of genocide recognised by international courts or decision taken in the Greek parliament will also face prison time and heavy penalties.

“The bill offers Greek society and democracy a modern and comprehensive shield against racist phenomena, xenophobia and bigotry,” said Justice Minister Haralambos Athanasiou.

# Notebook

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Greek lawmakers debate anti-racism bill

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Best anti racism video ever! – Video




Best anti racism video ever! Please,Like An Subscribe! By: jacob israel

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November 29, 2014   Posted in: Anti Racism  Comments Closed

Greek hate crimes law: Threat to free speech?

Athens, Greece – After Greece’s passing of an anti-racism law was hailed last month as an important step to stem a rising tide of xenophobic violence, rights groups are cautioning against potential curbs to freedom of speech and association. “Racial motivation can be attached to any felony or misdemeanour in the Greek criminal code and this will hopefully make it more likely that the police and prosecutors will investigate [this] motivation and easier for the courts to apply it,” said Eva Cosse, a senior research assistant and Greece specialist at New York-based Human Rights Watch. After being introduced in parliament in November 2013, Greece passed the latest draft of its anti-discrimination law on September 9. The law bolsters the country’s decades-old hate crimes legislation, handing out three-year prison terms and levying fines of between $38,000-$125,000 for instigating racism, and inciting violence, respectively. The law also criminalises the denial of crimes against humanity and acts of genocide, such as the Holocaust. We need to take care, very seriously, about possible applications of the law which violate freedom of expression. – Dimitris Christopoulos, Panteion University “Reinforcing our legislative arsenal is demanded more than ever today, when the enemies of democracy and those who deny the human substance preach hatred,” Justice Minister Haralambos Athanassiou told parliament last month. While racist discrimination has been punishable in Greece since 1979, the courts largely failed to use the legislation. In 2008, Greece designated religious, national and racial hatred, and hatred based on sexual orientation as aggravated circumstances in criminal acts, allowing judges to apply the maximum penalty to perpetrators. But according to Cosse, this amendment was never applied in practice. “Before, racist motivation could be considered only during a trial at the sentencing phase, after determination of guilt,” she said. “Hopefully, now [with the new law], prosecutors will be willing to [consider it sooner]. They have the tools, and it’s now their responsibility.” Greek police ‘ill-equipped’

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October 16, 2014   Posted in: Anti Racism  Comments Closed

Greek Parliament Adopts Bill Criminalizing Genocide Denial

ATHENS, September 10 (RIA Novosti) – The Greek Parliament has approved a new anti-racism bill that criminalizes the denial of the Holocaust and the Greek, Armenian and Assyrian genocides. A bill introducing penalties for those who incite violence or hatred on the grounds of race, religion and ethnic origin, was adopted by the Greek parliament on Tuesday. In addition, the new law makes it illegal to deny the genocides of Jews, Armenians, Assyrians and Ottoman Greeks. Parties or associations supporting racism may be deprived of state funding for a period of one to six months and receive fines up to 100,000 euros (just under $130,000). Individuals promoting racism may receive fines of up to 30,000 euros (about $39,000). Hate crimes will be punished by up to three years imprisonment. Representatives from the ruling coalition, consisting of the New Democracy and PASOK parties, voted in favor of the bill. The Democratic Left party and some independent members of the parliament also welcomed the new measures. The left-wing opposition abstained from voting or voted against the bill. The Greek Communist Party stated that the new law would criminalize the labor movement and the Communist ideology under the guise of fighting racism. The far-right Golden Dawn party also voted against, stating that the law could be used to target not only racists, but all those opposed to the ruling regime. Greek officials have worked on the bill for nearly two years, which is part of an effort to harmonize Greek laws with European Union standards. The Ministry of Justice added denial of genocides to the list of crimes upon request of 38 New Democracy parliamentarians.

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Greece Passes Bill Making Holocaust-Denial Illegal, Tougher Anti-Racism Laws

Hate Crimes Have Surged Alongside Rise of Golden Dawn Getty Images Published September 09, 2014. Greek lawmakers on Tuesday passed a bill toughening anti-racism laws and making Holocaust denial a criminal act, as it cracks down on a wave of xenophobic attacks that have come amid the countrys worst-ever peace-time financial crisis. A gateway into the European Union for thousands of migrants from Asia and Africa, Greece is home to more than 1 million undocumented migrants, who face growing hostility as the country struggles through a six-year recession and record unemployment. Hate crimes have surged alongside the rise of the fiercely anti-immigrant Golden Dawn party, whose top members are in jail pending trial on charges of setting up a criminal group that attacks immigrants and opponents. They deny the accusations. Reinforcing our legislative arsenal is demanded more than ever today, when the enemies of democracy and those who deny the human substance preach hatred, Justice Minister Haralambos Athanassiou told parliament last week. The bill raises the prison term for instigating hate crimes to three years from two and allows prosecutors to investigate crimes even if the victims fail to report them to authorities. It also imposes fines of up to 30,000 euros for those instigating racism and up to 100,000 euros for groups involved in racially motivated crimes, in addition to banning them from receiving state funding for up to six months. A controversial article criminalizing the denial or trivialisation of the Holocaust, Nazi war atrocities and genocide, was voted for by 54 of the 99 lawmakers present during the summer session.

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September 9, 2014   Posted in: Anti Racism  Comments Closed

Greece approves anti-racism bill

Athens (dpa) – The Greek parliament on Tuesday passed an anti-racism bill allowing for stricter penalties for individuals and political parties that engage in racism or incite racist violence. The long-delayed bill follows dozens of violent attacks against immigrants in Greece and a increase in popular support for the extreme-right party Golden Dawn. The new legislation allows the prosecution of racial abuse without requiring victims to take any legal action and imposes prison sentences of up to three years and large penalties for anyone convicted of inciting racial violence. More than 100 Greek historians and academics have expressed reservations over aspects of the legislation designed to outlaw Holocaust denial and expand prosecution powers against the incitement of racial violence. Specifically, experts have raised concern over Article 2 of the bill, which seeks to criminalise denial of the Holocaust and other genocides for impeding freedom of speech. “Our stance is not based on tolerance of the deniers of hideous crimes, nor from a reluctance to punish criminal acts, but from the conviction that as international experience has shown such measures lead to dangerous paths, they impinge on the democratic and inalienable right to freedom of speech,” a statement signed by 139 experts said. Human Rights Watch welcomed the legislation, but noted that it “does not include measures to encourage reporting of violent hate crimes or to ensure appropriate action by the police and judiciary to counter hate violence.” # Notebook

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September 9, 2014   Posted in: Anti Racism  Comments Closed

Anti-racism Words from Dic(tionary)

Anti-racism: (n) the policy of opposing racism and promoting racial tolerance. It is cruel, insane and useless to walk up to a man having a heart attack, lying on a gurney and proffer, You shouldnt have eaten so much bacon. Warnings have to come at the right time, or they are either petty bitchiness or meaningless babble. Anti-racism is similar to this. We all grew up in households where preferences were promoted. So it is ridiculous to think that were going to ease our way into a world where color doesnt matter. We must stop arresting the neighbors who live next door to the Bodega that was vandalized and start looking for the actual perpetrators. What causes racism? 1. Too much emphasis on culture. Matter of fact, Im not comfortable with any emphasis on culture. When I begin to believe that the Chinese, the Africans, the Jews, the Arabs and the Europeans have different ways of looking at life, I am setting myself up to feel arrogant over my rendition. 2. Take away the stigma of loving who you want to love. Even though we are willing to accept that the chimpanzee or ape is our ancestor, we are not able to procreate with one. Yet there is no human being of any color or ethnic origin who cannot pair off and make a baby. What a piece of hypocrisy.

Fair Usage Law

September 8, 2014   Posted in: Anti Racism  Comments Closed

Greek academics say anti-racism bill risks interference with freedom of expression

Greek academics say anti-racism bill risks interference with freedom of expression More than one hundred Greek historians and academics have expressed reservations over aspects of draft legislation designed to outlaw Holocaust denial and expand prosecution powers against the incitement of racial violence. A statement signed by 139 experts welcomed government measures to curb racism and racially-motivated violence. However, it expressed concern over Article 2 of the bill which seeks to criminalize denial of the Holocaust and other genocides for impeding freedom of speech. Our stance is not based on tolerance of the ‘deniers’ of hideous crimes, nor from a reluctance to punish criminal acts, but from the conviction that, as international experience has shown, such measures lead to dangerous paths: they impinge on the democratic and inalienable right to freedom of speech, the statement said. Furthermore, [such measures] have proved totally ineffective in fighting racism and Nazism, racism and hate speech, it said. The anti-racism bill was approved in principle on Tuesday by Parliaments summer session. A second vote on the bills articles is to be held on Friday. Greece’s Ombudsman said it received complaints of 281 suspected racist and homophobic attacks in the 16 months before May 2013, resulting in four deaths and 135 injuries.

Fair Usage Law

September 3, 2014   Posted in: Anti Racism  Comments Closed

Anti-racism bill approved in principle, final vote Friday

Anti-racism bill approved in principle, final vote Friday An anti-racism bill introducing tougher penalties for individuals and political parties that engage in racism or incite racist violence and those who praise acts of genocide was approved in principle on Tuesday by Parliaments summer session. A second vote on the bills articles is to be held on Friday. The bill, passed after months of delays, foresees jail terms of up to three years and large fines for those that incite attacks against people based on their race or sexual orientation. Those who praise historical acts of genocide such as the Holocaust, the mass killing of Armenians, Christians in Asia Minor and Black Sea Greeks, face similar treatment. But Justice Minister Haralambos Athanasiou rebuffed a demand by opposition parties, and some PASOK MPs, for the bill to include a provision extending a cohabitation pact, granting unmarried couples greater rights, to same-sex partnerships. He said the issue will be studied separately.

Fair Usage Law

September 2, 2014   Posted in: Anti Racism  Comments Closed

Greek lawmakers debate anti-racism bill

Athens (dpa) – Greek lawmakers began debating an anti-racism bill Tuesday that would impose stricter penalties for individuals and political parties that engage in racism or incite racist violence, parliament sources told dpa. The long-delayed bill follows dozens of violent attacks against immigrants in Greece and a increase in popular support for the extreme-right party Golden Dawn. The draft legislation, to be voted on Friday, imposes prison sentences of up to three years and large penalties for anyone convicted for inciting racial violence, the sources said on the condition of anonymity. The bill is likely to pass after receiving the support from two left-wing opposition parties. According to a report in the daily Kathimerini newspaper, those who praise the Holocaust or any case of genocide recognised by international courts or decision taken in the Greek parliament will also face prison time and heavy penalties. “The bill offers Greek society and democracy a modern and comprehensive shield against racist phenomena, xenophobia and bigotry,” said Justice Minister Haralambos Athanasiou. # Notebook

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September 2, 2014   Posted in: Anti Racism  Comments Closed


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