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06.11.2009

Parliament increases liability for discrimination, and changes nothing

   

The Verkhovna Rada has, with a large majority, passed the Law “On amendments to the Criminal Code of Ukraine on liability for crimes based on racial, ethnic or religious intolerance”.

The law states that deliberate acts aimed at inciting ethnic, racial or religious enmity and hatred, denigrating national honour or dignity, or offending the feelings of citizens with regard to their religious convictions, as well as direct or indirect restrict of their rights or establishment of direct or indirect privileges on the basis of race, skin colour, political, religious or other convictions, gender, ethnic or social origin, property, place of residence, language or other grounds, shall be punishable by a fine of from 200 to 500 times the minimum wage before tax, or restriction of liberty for up to 5 years, with removal of the right to occupy certain positions or engage in certain activities for up to 3 years, or without that.

Those same actions linked with violence, deception or threats, as well as if committed by a public official, shall be punishable by a fine of from 500 to 1,000 times the minimum wage before tax, or restriction of imprisonment for 2 to 5 years, with removal of the right to occupy certain positions or engage in certain activities for up to 3 years, or without that.

Actions committed by an organized group or causing grave consequences shall be punishable by imprisonment for a period of between 5 and 8 years.

The law in fact makes no significant change since the Article of the Criminal Code is still phrased in such a way as to make it virtually impossible to prosecute people.

The Deputies refused to criminalize the import and sale of similar literature.  Parliament did not take into account any of the proposals put forward by the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.

From information at human-rights.unian.net

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