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House of Representatives
© Parlamento Italiano

Italy: the Parliament approves a law criminalising negationism

On 8 June 2016, the Italian Parliament approved the draft legislation n. 2874-B that modifies the 1975 legislation on the ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination with new provisions criminalising racist propaganda and the denial of crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

The new legislation provides for racist propanda and dissemination of racist and suprematist ideas to be punished with up to one year and six months of detention or a maximum of six thousand euro fine. Furthermore, racially-motivated violence and its public support constitute crimes under the new legislation and the provided punishment ranges from six months to four years of jail. The same penalty is established for members of organisations aimed at racial discrimination or racially-motivated violence, while the leaders of such entities can be jailed from one to six years.

Finally, hate propaganda and instigation partially or totally founded upon Holocaust denial or the denial of crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes as provided by the Rome Statute can be sanctioned with two to six years of jail according to the new law.

The legislation on negationism was approved by the Italian Chamber of Deputies with 237 votes in favour, 5 against and 102 abstentions.