Minister: Govt reconsidering reintroduction of malicious blasphemy of religion offense in penal code

Tuesday, 12 November 2019 12:13
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The relevant justice minister on Tuesday morning, during a radio news program, cited the prospect of reconsidering the reinstitution of the offense of malicious blasphemy of religion in Greece's penal code, which under the draft bill now being debated in Parliament would entail a jail sentence of up to two years.

The previous code criminalizing insult to religion was scrapped under revisions undertaken by the previous leftist SYRIZA government, shortly before it lost a general election in July 2019.

The proposed revision refers to "malicious blasphemy of the Orthodox Church or any religion tolerated (accepted) in Greece", "legalese" for major religions with adherents in the country.

In defending the government's intent, Minister Costas Tsiaras said five European countries have such a provision in their law books, while Denmark had abolished it only to reinstitute such a code.

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