Monday, January 15, 2007

German Justice Minister: Make Holocaust Denial Illegal throughout Europe

I've just been reading this article on the Independent website.

It would appear that the German Government would like to deny British and other European citizens their absolute right to freedom of speech.

Its reported -

Germany is to revive plans to criminalise Holocaust denial as well as the use of Nazi symbols in all EU countries, making them punishable by up to three years in prison.

Ministers in Berlin have identified the move as a priority of Germany's six-month presidency of the EU which began on 1 January. Its efforts come against the background of the formation in the European Parliament of a far-right group, Identity, Sovereignty and Tradition.
The European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs, Franco Frattini, has pledged its support for the German push. A spokesman said: "This would give a good signal that there are no safe havens for racists or xenophobes in Europe."

Two years ago, Luxembourg tried to use its EU presidency to push through legislation that would have made Holocaust denial an offence. That push was blocked by Italy's centre-right government. Since then a centre-left government has taken control in Italy and the prime minister, Romano Prodi, is unlikely to oppose the measure.

However other countries, including the UK, Denmark and Sweden, had misgivings fearing that freedom of speech would be compromised. The European Commission says it is confident the law will be sufficiently well-drafted to ensure that genuine historical debate about the Nazi era would not be impeded.

Now I don't know about you but over recent years I've observed a constant attack on Individual liberty in the UK. Whether that be in the drafting and instigation of draconian legislation, proposed mass compulsory databases & emotional blackmail attacks on opinion. I'm not particularly impressed with this suggestion and have no confidence that our current government will resist this call.

Of course, saying this leaves me open to the "well you must be a facist" brigade. Trust me, I'm not. Nor am I a neo-nazi, holocaust denier or any of the other slurs you may wish to throw in my direction.

Just because we don't always approve of what someone says doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed to say it.

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