Monday, August 16, 2010

Chile: Senators Seeking to Criminalize Incitement to Racial and Religious Hatred

Chilean Senators Guido Girardi, Juan Pablo Letelier, Mariano Ruiz-Esquide, Carlos Cantero and Andrew Chadwick expressed deep concern over the spate of anti-Semitic acts that occurred in synagogues and Hebrew schools, as well as death threats against the president of the Chilean Jewish community, Gabriel Zaliasnik, and to his son of 9 years. For this reason, they announced the filing of a bill that seeks to criminalize "hate speech."
Senator Guido Girardi said, "We believe that this is not a problem just for the Jewish community, but for the entire Chilean society. We would not accept graffiti against the Catholic Church and we believe that there would be many voices against these acts, as it would also be the case within Islamic communities. Therefore, this situation is unacceptable under any circumstances", he said. For that reason, he mentioned that "we will present a bill which criminalizes the incitement to hatred and punishes those who infringe on these values and principles. We do not want to have in Chile discriminatory practices that incite hatred. Our legislation, in contrast to others, only sets fines and sanctions, but it does not define crime and punishment."

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