PQC: For at least the last century (at least since Voltaire) Western societies have fought and won the profound victory for not only themselves but all humankind: Freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and Free of Press. These freedoms were under attack during the Cold War with the culmination of McCarthyism, but then they all have survived and thrived very well in many aspects ever since, only defeated formally by the Jews- The word Jews with label Antisemitism have defeated these freedoms in the West, especially in mainstream and at societal level. After 911 false flag, the attack on these freedoms has been intensifying with a very well prepared, organized, and concerted plan, in which emotional, sentimental fear and hate are the pillars. It’s astounding and horrifying to see the people of the West are voluntarily discard their inherited hard won rights from their forebears just in a short period of time just because of unfounded fear and hate. Astounding and horrifying it is, but it’s understandable. This generation did not fight, did not shed blood for these rights. They inherited and take these freedoms for granted. Therefore, this might be a blessing in disguise. For this generation , particularly those of Asian background who were born and grew up in the culture of authority worship and obedience, needs to taste and feel the boots on their face, to experience their throats being squeezed, their mouths being gagged… by the very so-called “democratic governments” in order to understand, love, cherish, and prepare to die for these precious, indispensable freedoms.
At this moment, IMHO, the majority of people of this generation does not deserve these freedoms. Let’s them eat shit as they want it, they will learn and know how to love good food later.
“Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins” …”They who can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”. Benjamin Franklin
The FCC’s Order Is Out: It Will End Net Neutrality and Break the Internet. We’ve Read It, and Here’s What You Need to Know
On Wednesday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai released his draft order to completely eradicate Net Neutrality.
You can read the full text here. The short version is that Pai’s order takes the Net Neutrality rules off the books and abandons the court-approved Title II legal framework that served as the basis for the successful 2015 Open Internet Order.
The FCC is scheduled to vote on this dangerous proposal at its meeting on Dec. 14.
Pai’s draft is a lot of things: thin on substance and reasoning, cruel, willfully naive — and it’s everything that ISPs like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon could have wanted (and more). But what it’s not is sensible or grounded in reality. It will take away every safeguard we need to protect the open internet we’ve always had, giving ISPs the power to kill off their competition, choke innovation, charge more for different kinds of content, suppress political dissent, and marginalize the voices of racial-justice advocates and others organizing for change.
We’ve had just a few hours to read this dud, launched by the FCC the day before Thanksgiving. Here are a few of the many lowlights in the draft order and a quick explanation of why they’re wrong.
While we’ll have more analysis in the days to come, this is our first take. And if no one puts a stop to Pai’s plans — with more than 200,000 rightly outraged internet users calling lawmakers and urging them to do just that on Tuesday alone — we’ll have even more to say on this when we take the FCC to court.
Breaking the Rules
Under the existing regulations the FCC passed in 2015, we have clear bright-line rules prohibiting harmful behavior by phone and cable companies. Those rules are coupled with the strong but flexible safeguards that the 2015 order built in for other schemes ISPs might use now or invent in the near future to interfere with internet traffic.
Pai’s order trashes all of those and leaves only scant transparency rules in place.
With the flimsiest of justifications, Pai plans to “eliminate the conduct rules adopted in the Title II Order — including the general conduct rule and the prohibitions on paid prioritization, blocking and throttling.” (See ¶ 235 of the draft order. We’ll quote passages in the draft like this throughout this post.)
The new order leaves internet users entirely without protections, relying on ISPs to behave and avoid exploiting their status as gatekeepers to the entire internet. Pai and his Republican colleagues at the FCC want to do nothing short of legalizing internet blocking and discrimination by cable and phone companies. They flip-flop back and forth in the order between predicting that this won’t happen; saying that maybe some other agency could put a stop to it if it does (¶ 259); and, in other instances, actually rooting for it by praising the supposed benefits of pay-for-play prioritization and internet slow lanes (¶ 252).
The new order makes it clear what kind of power is being handed over to ISPs by all but inviting them to offer “curated services” in the name of ISPs’ own freedom of speech rather than their broadband customers’ rights (¶ 262).
In other words, as we’ve known since details of this plan started to emerge last week, the Trump FCC wants to let the most-hated and worst-rated companies in America block and edit speech on the internet.
Pai makes the willfully naive argument that even in the absence of effective oversight and prohibitions against blocking and discrimination, “transparency substantially reduces the possibility that ISPs will engage in harmful practices, and it incentivizes quick corrective measures by providers if problematic conduct is identified” (¶ 205). He then leans on ISP statements that these companies have “publicly committed not to block or throttle the content that consumers choose” (¶ 260).
When it comes to letting ISPs divide the internet into fast lanes for the few that can pay the extra toll, and slow lanes for everyone else, the order actually celebrates the idea.
“We anticipate that lifting the ban on paid prioritization will increase network innovation [because] the ban on paid prioritization agreements has had … a chilling effect on network innovation” (¶ 250).
Only at this FCC and in the boardrooms of some big ISPs does anyone believe that slowing down websites and apps counts as “innovation.”
But this is the “trust the cable company” future that Pai envisions for the internet. The draft order puts a ridiculous amount of faith in ISP promises. Before firm rules on solid legal footing were put in place by the 2015 order Pai wants to abandon, ISPs blocked content, throttled websites and used their power to rig the market in their favor.
This new FCC order would return us to a world where ISPs have a green light to block, slow down and limit quality access to any websites or applications they want.
Breaking the Law
Free Press has written the book on the continued need for the laws that protect people’s communications rights on the internet. Those rights don’t change just because the technology has evolved — or at least they shouldn’t change.
The laws that protect these rights are in what’s called Title II of the Communications Act. And despite current Republican officials’ selective memory loss on this, these laws were updated on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis in both chambers of Congress in 1996 to establish the legal definitions and duties that still do and still must apply to broadband service.
Broadband internet access is what the law calls a “common-carrier transmission service.” That means it lets internet users transmit the information of their choosing, to and from the points of their choosing, and that it must do so without unreasonable discrimination by the carrier that transmits the content.
That’s how broadband customers perceive the service that ISPs offer and sell to them, and that’s the service we all need to have any chance of connecting and communicating with each other and accessing all the internet has to offer.
The draft order fails in its vain attempt to refute Free Press’ statutory analysis on these questions. A proper read of the legislative history, and of FCC steps and missteps past, explains Congress’ true intent and the meaning of the law. But the best the Pai team can muster are ahistorical references to Clinton-era interpretations of an internet ecosystem long since gone, along with a smattering of ISP talking points and legal arguments shot down in court just last year.
Talking about how the Commission treated AOL’s dial-up internet access service in 1998, and pretending that this same reasoning should apply to ISPs like Comcast and AT&T that control the physical networks we use to get online today, just won’t cut it (¶ 63). Nor will the absurd claim that just because ISPs transmit internet speech and information, the broadband access line itself must be an information service too (¶ 29).
These are simply attempts to ignore the reality of modern broadband internet services that people depend on today — and that still need rules guarding against the network owners’ incentive and ability to discriminate.
The Obama FCC followed the law and fulfilled its congressionally mandated duties by returning to Title II, and to the proper understanding of broadband internet access as a telecom service. That decision was upheld not once but twice by the federal appeals court that reviewed the agency’s reasoning.
But the Pai FCC wants to throw all of that out of the window, then throw up its hands and say we can’t have rules anymore.
Set aside for a moment that ditching Title II means the FCC is weakening or abandoning all sorts of other duties it has — from promoting broadband affordability and deployment (¶ 189) to protecting consumers from privacy invasions (¶ 178). The Pai FCC’s trust in an understaffed and overburdened Federal Trade Commission’s ability to police the privacy policies of internet companies is misplaced and dangerous.
By abandoning the Communications Act, and possibly punting oversight of ISPs’ Net Neutrality promises to the FTC (¶ 140), Pai is turning his back on the FCC’s sound legal framework for preventing discrimination online.
This FCC is abdicating its responsibilities and using the worst legal arguments it can find to justify its actions.
Breaking from Reality
One of the main arguments the Pai order offers for all of this upheaval is the supposed harm that a Title II legal framework has wreaked on broadband investment. This harm is a fiction Pai invented, backed only by a handful of ISP lobbyists and shills who’ve been willing to lie through their teeth or concoct the supposed evidence for this alleged economic downturn (¶¶ 90-91).
The fact of the matter, as we’ve shown dozens of times now, is that broadband investment doesn’t turn on regulation alone. It doesn’t plummet simply because the FCC restores the same kinds of protections against discrimination that have been kept in place continuously for a wide range of Title II voice and broadband services for the past several decades.
The numbers bear this out: Broadband investment on the aggregate has gone up in the two years following adoption of the 2015 Open Internet Order. Most individual publicly traded ISPs have spent more than they had in the two years prior to the 2015 order — with companies like Comcast investing about 26 percent more in that time.
This increase in investment has occurred even as ISPs saved money on buildout thanks to efficiency improvements from new fiber and wireless technologies.
Measuring aggregate investment alone, by a single industry sector alone, is the wrong metric anyway. Broadband speeds actually improved at a rapid clip after the 2015 order, and that’s what the FCC should be measuring here: the services that broadband customers get, not just the dollars that ISPs spend.
Investment also boomed for companies that use the internet to deliver their services, including but by no means limited to internet video sites and online pay-TV substitutes, all of which had the certainty under the 2015 Open Internet Order of knowing they had an open pathway to customers on the internet.
But all of this makes no difference to Pai and his cronies. They casually conclude that ditching the statutory framework Congress established for broadband will somehow increase investment in networks (¶ 98), despite mountains of economic evidence to the contrary and the fact that ISPs routinely told their own investors that Title II and Net Neutrality had no impact on their spending.
The order traffics in the same old falsehoods ISPs and Pai have trotted out before to justify overturning these safeguards. The order claims that broadband investment is down, while ignoring the reality that broadband investment tends to be cyclical and the fact that broadband speeds and raw dollars spent on broadband networks have both gone up markedly during the two years since the 2015 Open Internet Order passed.
Where We Go from Here
Pai’s order is heavy on destruction and light on sound reasoning. We know why: Title II simply works; courts have ratified it twice; Americans across the political spectrum and in both political parties are overwhelmingly in favor of those protections; and it’s crucial for allowing the voices of marginalized groups and activists to reach society at large.
The new order is the result of a broken process at the FCC used to reach a faulty and false conclusion on the facts and on the law. The FCC has lost in court every time it’s attempted to prop up open-internet protections on flimsy legal-authority claims. This time should prove no different, and we’re already preparing our legal challenge.
The FCC will vote on Pai’s internet-destroying plan at its Dec. 14 meeting. There’s still time to let the FCC know what you think. You can also urge your members of Congress to condemn Pai’s plan, as hundreds of thousands of you have already done in the past 24 hours.
If we turn up the pressure, there’s a small (but growing) chance we can put the brakes on Pai’s bad ideas before the FCC votes. So keep fighting and speaking out — and don’t fall for Ajit Pai’s lies.
Featured image is from Free Press.
Good-bye to Net Neutrality? Act Now To Uphold “Digital Democracy”
The World is at a dangerous crossroads. I think everybody who reads the independent media knows that. But those who are strung to CNN and Time Magazine might have understood otherwise. Lies by omission: The danger of nuclear annihilation is not front-page news, nor is America’s “Killing Fields” in Yemen where children are dying as a result of a US enforced blockade on food and medicine.
America’s wars are portrayed by the media as humanitarian endeavors. “The Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) doctrine provides a framework which justifies military action.
Dear Readers: when war is upheld as peacemaking, conceptualization is no longer possible. Once the Lie Becomes the Truth, there is No Moving Backwards. Insanity prevails. The world is turned upside down.
The Western media and politicians, in chorus, have obfuscated the unspoken truth, namely that the US-NATO led war destroys humanity.
On this Thanksgiving Weekend our thoughts are with Native Americans “in recognition of the suffering they have endured since Europeans first began their conquest of indigenous lands over 500 years ago.”
Our thanks to our contributors who are scattered across the globe. To the best of our abilities, Global Research seeks to report with accuracy, insight and commitment to social justice and a World without war.
Without the daily gush of war propaganda, America’s military endeavors would fall flat. The criminal nature of US foreign policy would be fully revealed.
Our objective is to reverse the tide of media disinformation, protect independent thought and uphold “Net Neutrality”.
No easy task. And that’s why we Need the Support of Our Readers
Michel Chossudovsky, November 25, 2017
Laws against Holocaust denial
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Holocaust denial, the denial of the systematic genocidal killing of 6 million Jews and people of various ethnic groups in Europe by Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, is illegal in 16 European countries and Israel. Many countries also have broader laws that criminalize genocide denial. Of the countries that ban Holocaust denial, some, such as Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Romania, were among the perpetrators of the Holocaust, and many of these also ban other elements associated with Nazism, such as the expression of Nazi symbols.
In several nations such as the United Kingdom and the United States, laws against Holocaust denial have come up in legal discussion and have been proposed, but the measures have been rejected. Organizations representing groups that have been victimized during the Holocaust have generally been split about such laws. In the United States, the First Amendment to the country’s constitution establishes freedom of expression and protects virtually all speech (including “hate speech“).
Overview and commentary
Scholars have pointed out that countries that specifically ban Holocaust denial generally have legal systems that limit speech in other ways, such as banning “hate speech“. According to D. D. Guttenplan, this is a split between the “common law countries of the United States, Ireland and many British Commonwealth countries from the civil law countries of continental Europe and Scotland. In civil law countries the law is generally more proscriptive. Also, under the civil law regime, the judge acts more as an inquisitor, gathering and presenting evidence as well as interpreting it”. Michael Whine argues that Holocaust denial can inspire violence against Jews; he states, “Jews’ experience in the post-World War II era suggests that their rights are best protected in open and tolerant democracies that actively prosecute all forms of racial and religious hatred”.
János Kis and in particular András Schiffer feel the work of Holocaust deniers should be protected by a universal right to free speech. An identical argument was used by the Hungarian Constitutional Court (Alkotmánybíróság) led by László Sólyom when it struck down a law against Holocaust denial in 1992.
The argument that laws punishing Holocaust denial are incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights have been rejected by institutions of the Council of Europe (the European Commission of Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights) and also by the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
Historians who oppose such laws include Raul Hilberg, Richard J. Evans, and Pierre Vidal-Naquet. Other prominent opponents of the laws are Timothy Garton Ash, Christopher Hitchens, Peter Singer, and Noam Chomsky. An uproar resulted when Serge Thion used one of Chomsky’s essays without explicit permission as a foreword to a book of Holocaust denial essays (see Faurisson affair). These laws have also been criticized on the grounds that education is more effective than legislation at combating Holocaust denial and that the laws will make martyrs out of those imprisoned for their violation.
While Australia lacks a specific law against Holocaust denial, Holocaust denial is prosecuted in Australia under various laws against “hate speech” and “racial vilification“. Gerald Fredrick Töben and his Adelaide Institute are the best-known case of someone being prosecuted in Australia for Holocaust denial.
In Austria, the Verbotsgesetz 1947 provided the legal framework for the process of denazification in Austria and suppression of any potential revival of Nazism. In 1992, it was amended to prohibit the denial or gross minimisation of the Holocaust.
National Socialism Prohibition Law (1947, amendments of 1992)
§ 3g. He who operates in a manner characterized other than that in § § 3a – 3f will be punished (revitalising of the NSDAP or identification with), with imprisonment from one to up to ten years, and in cases of particularly dangerous suspects or activity, be punished with up to twenty years’ imprisonment.
§ 3h. As an amendment to § 3 g., whoever denies, grossly plays down, approves or tries to excuse the National Socialist genocide or other National Socialist crimes against humanity in a print publication, in broadcast or other media.
In Belgium, Holocaust denial was made illegal in 1995.
Negationism Law (1995, amendments of 1999)
Article 1 Whoever, in the circumstances given in article 444 of the Penal Code denies, grossly minimises, attempts to justify, or approves the genocide committed by the German National Socialist Regime during the Second World War shall be punished by a prison sentence of eight days to one year, and by a fine of twenty six francs to five thousand francs. For the application of the previous paragraph, the term genocide is meant in the sense of article 2 of the International Treaty of 9 December 1948 on preventing and combating genocide. In the event of repetitions, the guilty party may in addition have his civic rights suspended in accordance with article 33 of the Penal Code.
Art.2 In the event of a conviction on account of a violation under this Act, it may be ordered that the judgement, in its entity or an excerpt of it, is published in one of more newspapers, and is displayed, to the charge of the guilty party.
Art.3. Chapter VII of the First Book of the Penal Code and Article 85 of the same Code are also applicable to this Act.
Art. 4. The Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism, as well as any association that at the time of the facts had a legal personality for at least five years, and which, on the grounds of its statutes, has the objective of defending moral interests and the honour of the resistance or the deported, may act in law in all legal disputes arising from the application of this Act.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In May 2007 Ekrem Ajanovic, a Bosniak MP in the Bosnian Parliament proposed a legislation on criminalizing the denial of Holocaust, genocide and crimes against humanity. This was the first time that somebody in Bosnia and Herzegovina‘s Parliament proposed such a legislation. Bosnian Serb MPs voted against this legislation and proposed that such an issue should be resolved within the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Following this, on 6 May 2009 Bosniak MPs Adem Huskic, Ekrem Ajanovic and Remzija Kadric proposed to the BH parliament a change to the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina where Holocaust, genocide and crimes against humanity denial would be criminalized. Bosnian Serb MPs have repeatedly been against such a legislation claiming that the law “would cause disagreement and even animosity” according to SNSD member Lazar Prodanovic.
Law Against Support and Dissemination of Movements Oppressing Human Rights and Freedoms (2001)
§ 260 (1) The person who supports or spreads movements oppressing human rights and freedoms or declares national, race, religious or class hatred or hatred against other group of persons will be punished by prison from 1 to 5 years. (2) The person will be imprisoned from 3 to 8 years if: a) he/she commits the crime mentioned in paragraph (1) in print, film, radio, television or other similarly effective manner, b) he/she commits the crime as a member of an organized group c) he/she commits the crime in a state of national emergency or state of war.
§ 261 The person who publicly declares sympathies with such a movement mentioned in § 260, will be punished by prison from 6 months to 3 years.
§ 261a The person who publicly denies, puts in doubt, approves or tries to justify Nazi or communist genocide or other crimes of Nazis or communists will be punished by prison of 6 months to 3 years.
In France, the Gayssot Act, voted for on July 13, 1990, makes it illegal to question the existence of crimes that fall in the category of crimes against humanity as defined in the London Charter of 1945, on the basis of which Nazi leaders were convicted by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in 1945–46. When the act was challenged by Robert Faurisson, the Human Rights Committee upheld it as a necessary means to counter possible antisemitism. Similarly, the applications of Pierre Marais and Roger Garaudy were rejected by the European Court of Human Rights, in 1996 and 2003.
In 2012, the Constitutional Council of France ruled that to extend the Gayssot Act to the Armenian Genocide denial was unconstitutional because it violated the freedom of speech. The Gayssot Act itself, however, was found consistent with the Constitution four years later.
LAW No 90-615 to repress acts of racism, anti-semitism and xenophobia (1990)
MODIFICATIONS OF THE LAW OF JULY 29, 1881 ON THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS Art 8. – Article 24 of the Law on the Freedom of the Press of 29 July 1881 is supplemented by the following provisions: In the event of judgment for one of the facts envisaged by the preceding subparagraph, the court will be able moreover to order: Except when the responsibility for the author of the infringement is retained on the base for article 42 and the first subparagraph for article 43 for this law or the first three subparagraphs for article 93-3 for the law No 82-652 for July 29, 1982 on the audio-visual communication, the deprivation of the rights enumerated to the 2o and 3o of article 42 of the penal code for imprisonment of five years maximum;
Art 9. – As an amendment to Article 24 of the law of July 29, 1881 on the freedom of the press, article 24 (a) is as follows written: <<Art. 24 (a). – those who have disputed the existence of one or more crimes against humanity such as they are defined by Article 6 of the statute of the international tribunal military annexed in the agreement of London of August 8, 1945 and which were a carried out either by the members of an organization declared criminal pursuant to Article 9 of the aforementioned statute, or by a person found guilty such crimes by a French or international jurisdiction shall be punished by one month to one year’s imprisonment or a fine.
Art 13. – It is inserted, after article 48-1 of the law of July 29, 1881 on the freedom of the press, article 48-2 thus written: <<Art. 48-2. – publication or publicly expressed opinion encouraging those to whom it is addressed to pass a favourable moral judgment on one or more crimes against humanity and tending to justify these crimes (including collaboration) or vindicate their perpetrators shall be punished by one to five years’ imprisonment or a fine.
§ 130 Incitement to hatred
In Germany, Volksverhetzung (“incitement of the people”) is a concept in German criminal law that bans incitement to hatred against segments of the population. It often applies to (though not limited to) trials relating to Holocaust denial in Germany. In addition, Strafgesetzbuch § 86a outlaws various symbols of “unconstitutional organisations”, such as the Swastika and the SS runes.
(1) Whosoever, in a manner capable of disturbing the public peace:
- incites hatred against a national, racial, religious group or a group defined by their ethnic origins, against segments of the population or individuals because of their belonging to one of the aforementioned groups or segments of the population or calls for violent or arbitrary measures against them; or
- assaults the human dignity of others by insulting, maliciously maligning an aforementioned group, segments of the population or individuals because of their belonging to one of the aforementioned groups or segments of the population, or defaming segments of the population,
(3) Whosoever publicly or in a meeting approves of, denies or downplays an act committed under the rule of National Socialism of the kind indicated in section 6 (1) of the Code of International Criminal Law, in a manner capable of disturbing the public peace shall be liable to imprisonment not exceeding five years or a fine.
(4) Whosoever publicly or in a meeting disturbs the public peace in a manner that violates the dignity of the victims by approving of, glorifying, or justifying National Socialist rule of arbitrary force shall be liable to imprisonment not exceeding three years or a fine.
The definition of section 6 of the Code of Crimes against International Law referenced in the above § 130 is as follows:
§ 6 Genocide
(1) Whoever with the intent of destroying as such, in whole or in part, a national, racial, religious or ethnic group:
- kills a member of the group,
- causes serious bodily or mental harm to a member of the group, especially of the kind referred to in section 226 of the Criminal Code,
- inflicts on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction in whole or in part,
- imposes measures intended to prevent births within the group,
- forcibly transfers a child of the group to another group, shall be punished with imprisonment for life. (…)
The following sections of the German criminal code are also relevant:
§ 189 Disparagement of the Memory of Deceased Persons (1985, amendments of 1992)
Whoever disparages the memory of a deceased person shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than two years or a fine.
§ 194 Application for Criminal Prosecution
(1) An insult shall be prosecuted only upon complaint. If the act was committed through dissemination of writings (Section 11 subsection (3)) or making them publicly accessible in a meeting or through a presentation by radio, then a complaint is not required if the aggrieved party was persecuted as a member of a group under the National Socialist or another rule by force and decree, this group is a part of the population and the insult is connected with this persecution. The act may not, however, be prosecuted ex officio if the aggrieved party objects. When the aggrieved party deceases, the rights of complaint and of objection devolve on the relatives indicated in Section 77 subsection (2). The objection may not be withdrawn.
(2) If the memory of a deceased person has been disparaged, then the relatives indicated in Section 77 subsection (2), are entitled to file a complaint. If the act was committed through dissemination of writings (Section 11 subsection (3)) or making them publicly accessible in a meeting or through a presentation by radio, then a complaint is not required if the deceased person lost his life as a victim of the National Socialist or another rule by force and decree and the disparagement is connected therewith. The act may not, however, be prosecuted ex officio if a person entitled to file a complaint objects. The objection may not be withdrawn. (…)
In September 2014 with a legislative vote 54 to 99, Greece made Holocaust denial a criminal offence.
The Parliament of Hungary declared the denial or trivialization of the Holocaust a crime punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment on February 23, 2010. The law was signed by the President of the Republic in March 2010. On June 8, 2010, the newly elected Fidesz-dominated parliament changed the formulation of the law to “punish those, who deny the genocides committed by national socialist or communist systems, or deny other facts of deeds against humanity”. The word “Holocaust” is no longer in the law.
In 2011, the first man was charged with Holocaust denial in Budapest. The Court sentenced the man to 18 months in prison, suspended for three years, and probation. He also had to visit either Budapest’s memorial museum, Auschwitz or Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. He chose his local Holocaust Memorial Center and had to make three visits in total and record his observations.
In January 2015, the court ordered far-right on-line newspaper Kuruc.info to delete its article denying the Holocaust published in July 2013, which was the first ruling in Hungary of its kind. The Association for Civil Liberties (TASZ) offered free legal aid to the website as a protest against restrictions on freedom of speech, but the site refused citing the liberal views of the association, and also refused to delete the article.
Denial of Holocaust (Prohibition) Law, 5746-1986
Definitions 1. In this Law, “crime against the Jewish people” and “crime against humanity” have the same respective meanings as in the “Nazis and Nazi Collaborators Law, 5710-1950.
Prohibition of Denial of Holocaust 2. A person who, in writing or by word of mouth, publishes any statement denying or diminishing the proportions of acts committed in the period of the Nazi regime, which are crimes against the Jewish people or crimes against humanity, with intent to defend the perpetrators of those acts or to express sympathy or identification with them, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of five years.
Prohibition of publication of expression for sympathy for Nazi crimes 3. A person who, in writing or by word of mouth, publishes any statement expressing praise or sympathy for or identification with acts done in the period of the Nazi regime, which are crimes against the Jewish people or crimes against humanity, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of five years.
Permitted publication 4. The publication of a correct and fair report of a publication prohibited by this Law shall not be regarded as an offence thereunder so long as it is not made with intent to express sympathy or identification with the perpetrators of crimes against the Jewish people or against humanity.
Filing of charge 5. An indictment for offences under this Law shall only be filed by or with the consent of the Attorney-General.
In January 2007, Italy’s Cabinet unanimously approved a law making Holocaust denial a crime with a possible four-year prison sentence.
Although not specifically outlining national socialist crimes, item five of section 283 of Liechtenstein‘s criminal code prohibits the denial of genocide.
§ 283 Race discrimination
Whoever publicly denies, coarsely trivialises, or tries to justify genocide or other crimes against humanity via word, writing, pictures, electronically transmitted signs, gestures, violent acts or by other means shall be punished with imprisonment for up to two years.
In Lithuania, approval and denial of Nazi or Soviet crimes is prohibited.
170(2) Publicly condoning international crimes, crimes of the USSR or Nazi Germany against the Republic of Lithuania and her inhabitants, denial or belittling of such crimes.
In Luxembourg, Article 457-3 of the Criminal Code, Act of 19 July 1997 outlaws Holocaust denial and denial of other genocides. The punishment is imprisonment for between 8 days and 6 months and/or a fine. The offence of “negationism and revisionism” applies to:
…anyone who has contested, minimised, justified or denied the existence of war crimes or crimes against humanity as defined in the statutes of the International Military Tribunal of 8 August 1945 or the existence of a genocide as defined by the Act of 8 August 1985. A complaint must be lodged by the person against whom the offence was committed (victim or association) in order for proceedings to be brought, Article 450 of the Criminal Code, Act of 19 July 1997.
While Holocaust denial is not explicitly illegal in the Netherlands, the courts consider it a form of spreading hatred and therefore an offence. According to the Dutch public prosecution office, offensive remarks are only punishable by Dutch law if they equate to discrimination against a particular group. The relevant laws of the Dutch penal code are as follows:
- He who in public, either verbally or in writing or image, deliberately offends a group of people because of their race, their religion or beliefs, their hetero- or homosexual orientation or their physical, psychological or mental handicap, shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding one year or a fine of the third category. […]
- He who in public, either verbally or in writing or image, incites hatred or discrimination against people or incites acts of violence towards people or property of people because of their race, their religion or beliefs, their gender, their hetero- or homosexual orientation or their physical, psychological or mental handicap, shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding one year or a fine of the third category. […]
In Poland, Holocaust denial and the denial of communist crimes is punishable by law.
He who publicly and contrary to facts contradicts the crimes mentioned in Article 1, clause 1 shall be subject to a fine or a penalty of deprivation of liberty of up to three years. The judgment shall be made publicly known.
This Act shall govern:
1. the registration, collection, access, management and use of the documents of the organs of state security created and collected between 22 July 1944 and 31 December 1989, and the documents of the organs of security of the Third Reich and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics concerning:
- a) crimes perpetrated against persons of Polish nationality and Polish citizens of other ethnicity, nationalities in the period between 1 September 1939 and 31 December 1989:
- – Nazi crimes,
- – communist crimes,
- – other crimes constituting crimes against peace, crimes against humanity or war crimes
- b) other politically motivated repressive measures committed by functionaries of Polish prosecution bodies or the judiciary or persons acting upon their orders, and disclosed in the content of the rulings given pursuant to the Act of 23 February 1991 on the Acknowledgement as Null and Void Decisions Delivered on Persons Repressed for Activities for the Benefit of the Independent Polish State (Journal of Laws of 1993 No. 34, item 149, of 1995 No. 36, item 159, No. 28, item 143, and of 1998 No. 97, item 604),
2. the rules of procedure as regards the prosecution of crimes specified in point 1 letter a),
3. the protection of the personal data of grieved parties, and
4. the conduct of activities as regards public education.
Article 240: Racial, religious, or sexual discrimination
2 — Whoever in a public meeting, in writing intended for dissemination, or by any means of mass media or computer system whose purpose is to disseminate:
- b) defames or slanders an individual or group of individuals because of race, colour, ethnic or national origin, or religion, particularly through the denial of war crimes or those against peace and humanity;
with intent to incite to racial, religious or sexual discrimination or to encourage it, shall be punished with imprisonment from six months to five years.
In Romania, Emergency Ordinance No. 31 of March 13, 2002 prohibits Holocaust denial. It was ratified on May 6, 2006. The law also prohibits racist, fascist, xenophobic symbols, uniforms and gestures: proliferation of which is punishable with imprisonment from between six months to five years.
Emergency Ordinance No. 31 of March 13, 2002
Article 3. – (1) Establishing a fascist, racist or xenophobic organisation is punishable by imprisonment from 5 to 15 years and the loss of certain rights.
Article 4. – (1) The dissemination, sale or manufacture of symbols either fascist, racist or xenophobic, and possession of such symbols is punished with imprisonment from 6 months to 5 years and the loss of certain rights.
Article 5. – Promoting the culture of persons guilty of committing a crime against peace and humanity or promoting fascist, racist or xenophobic ideology, through propaganda, committed by any means, in public, is punishable by imprisonment from 6 months to 5 years and the loss of certain rights.
Article 6. – Denial of the Holocaust in public, or to the effects thereof is punishable by imprisonment from 6 months to 5 years and the loss of certain rights.
In May 2014, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed a law making the denial of Nazi crimes and “wittingly spreading false information about the activity of the USSR during the years of World War Two” or portraying Nazis as heroes a criminal offence.
In Slovakia, Holocaust denial has been a crime since 2001 (law 485/2001), and the penal law (300/2005) specifies in §422d that “who publicly denies, denies, approves or tries to justify the Holocaust, crimes of regimes based on fascist ideology, crimes of regimes based on communist ideology or crimes of other similar movements that use violence, the threat of violence or the threat of other serious harm with the aim of suppressing the fundamental rights and freedoms of persons shall be punished by imprisonment of six months to three years”.
Genocide denial was illegal in Spain until the Constitutional Court of Spain ruled that the words “deny or” were unconstitutional in its judgement of November 7, 2007. As a result, Holocaust denial is legal in Spain, although justifying the Holocaust or any other genocide is an offence punishable by imprisonment in accordance with the constitution.
PENAL CODE- BOOK II, TITLE XXIV Crimes against the International Community
Chapter II: Crimes of genocide – Article 607.1
1. Those who, with the intention to total or partially destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, perpetrate the following acts, will be punished:
- 1) With the prison sentence of fifteen to twenty years, if they killed to some of its members.
- If the fact two or more aggravating circumstances concurred in, the greater punishment in degree will prevail.
- 2) With the prison of fifteen to twenty years, if they sexually attacked to some of members [of the group] or produced some of the injuries anticipated in article 149.
- 3) With prison sentence of eight to fifteen years, if they subjected the group or anyone of its individuals to conditions of existence that put their lives in danger or seriously disturbed their health, or when they produced some to them of the injuries anticipated in article 150.
- 4) With the same punishment, if they carried out [unavoidable] displacements of the group or their members, they adopted any measurement that tend to prevent their sort of life or reproduction, or transferred by force individuals from a group to another one.
- 5) With imprisonment of four to eight years, if they produced any other injury different from the ones indicated in numbers 2) and 3) of this section.
2. The diffusion by any means of ideas or doctrines that
deny orjustify the crimes in the previous section of this article, or tries the rehabilitation of regimes or institutions which they protect generating practices of such, will be punished with a prison sentence of one to two years.
Holocaust denial is not expressly illegal in Switzerland, but the denial of genocide and other crimes against humanity is an imprisonable offence.
Art. 261bis 1
Whoever publicly, by word, writing, image, gesture, acts of violence or any other manner, demeans or discriminates against an individual or a group of individuals because of their race, their ethnicity or their religion in a way which undermines human dignity, or on those bases, denies, coarsely minimizes or seeks to justify a genocide or other crimes against humanity […] shall be punished with up to three years’ imprisonment or a fine.
The European Union’s Executive Commission proposed a European Union-wide anti-racism xenophobia law in 2001, which included the criminalization of Holocaust denial. On July 15, 1996, the Council of the European Union adopted the Joint action/96/443/JHA concerning action to combat racism and xenophobia. During the German presidency there was an attempt to extend this ban. Full implementation was blocked by the United Kingdom and the Nordic countries because of the need to balance the restrictions on voicing racist opinions against the freedom of expression. As a result, a compromise has been reached within the EU and while the EU has not prohibited Holocaust denial outright, a maximum term of three years in jail is optionally available to all member nations for “denying or grossly trivialising crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes”.
The EU extradition policy regarding Holocaust denial was tested in the UK during the 2008 failed extradition case brought against the suspected Holocaust denier Frederick Toben by the German government. As there is no specific crime of Holocaust denial in the UK, the German government had applied for Toben’s extradition for racial and xenophobic crimes. Toben’s extradition was refused by the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, and the German government withdrew its appeal to the High Court.
European Union Framework Decision for Combating Racism and Xenophobia (2007)
The text establishes that the following intentional conduct will be punishable in all EU Member States:
- – Publicly inciting to violence or hatred, even by dissemination or distribution of tracts, pictures or other material, 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.
- – Publicly condoning, denying or grossly trivialising
- – crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined in the Statute of the International Criminal Court (Articles 6, 7 and 8) 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, and
- – crimes defined by the Tribunal of Nuremberg (Article 6 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, London Agreement of 1945) 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.
Member States may choose to punish only conduct which is either carried out in a manner likely to disturb public order or which is threatening, abusive or insulting.
The reference to religion is intended to cover, at least, conduct which is a pretext for directing acts against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin.
Member States will ensure that these conducts are punishable by criminal penalties of a maximum of at least between 1 and 3 years of imprisonment.
Prosecutions and convictions
Laws against Holocaust denial have been enforced in most jurisdictions that have them. Convictions and sentencings include:
|Date||Name||Country where the sentence was pronounced||Sentence|
|September 1987, June 1999, April 2016||Jean-Marie Le Pen||France, Germany||fines of €183,000 (1987), €6,000 (1999) and €30,000 (2016)|
|Feb. 27, 1998||Roger Garaudy||France||6 months’ imprisonment (suspended), ₣240,000 (€37,500) fine|
|Jul. 21, 1998||Jürgen Graf||Switzerland||15 months’ imprisonment (fled Switzerland to avoid sentence)|
|Jul. 21, 1998||Gerhard Förster||Switzerland||12 months’ imprisonment, disgorgement|
|April 8, 1999||Fredrick Töben||Australia||7 months’ imprisonment Mannheim, Germany – retrial – 2011 indefinitely stayed by judge Dr Meinerzhagen. October 1 – November 19, 2008, London, extradition to Mannheim, Germany, on European Arrest Warrant issued by Germany, failed. August 15 – November 12, 2009, Adelaide, Australia – for contempt of court because he refused to stop questioning the Holocaust’s 3 basics: 6 million, systematic state extermination, gas chambers as murder weapon.|
|May 27, 1999||Jean Plantin||France||6 months’ imprisonment (suspended), fine, damages|
|Apr. 11, 2000||Gaston-Armand Amaudruz||Switzerland||1 year’s imprisonment, damages|
|Feb. 20, 2006||David Irving||Austria||3 years’ imprisonment. Released and deported after serving 13 months.|
|Mar. 15, 2006||Germar Rudolf||Germany||2½ years’ imprisonment|
|Oct. 3, 2006||Robert Faurisson||France||€7,500 fine, 3 months’ probation|
|Feb. 15, 2007||Ernst Zündel||Germany||5 years’ imprisonment|
|Nov. 8, 2007||Vincent Reynouard||France||1 year’s imprisonment and a fine of 10,000 euros|
|Jan. 14, 2008||Wolfgang Fröhlich||Austria||6 years’ imprisonment (third offence)|
|Jan. 15, 2008||Sylvia Stolz||Germany||3½ years’ imprisonment|
|Mar. 11, 2009||Horst Mahler||Germany||5 years’ imprisonment|
|Oct. 23, 2009||Dirk Zimmerman||Germany||9 months’ imprisonment|
|Oct. 27, 2009||Richard Williamson||Germany||€12,000 fine (later overturned)|
|Jan. 31, 2013||Gyorgy Nagy||Hungary||18-month suspended jail sentence|
|Feb. 11, 2015||Vincent Reynouard||France||2 years’ imprisonment|
|Nov. 12, 2015||Ursula Haverbeck||Germany||10 months’ imprisonment|