Bulgaria Cracks Down on Hate Speech

Politics » DOMESTIC | October 22, 2010, Friday // 13:50| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Cracks Down on Hate Speech Newly adopted amendments to the Bulgarian Penal Code envision up to four years imprisonment and BGN 5,000 fine for hate speech. Photo by BGNES

Authors of hate speech will face up to four years imprisonment and a BGN 5,000 fine, according to the newly adopted amendments to the Bulgarian Penal Code.

The penalty will apply to journalists and authors in the media and in electronic information systems, such as websites.

The newly adopted amendments explain in details the forms of discrimination and incitement that will be punishable. They include discrimination, based on sexual orientation, religion, disabilities and social standing among others.

Besides facing jail and fines, violators will also be held up to public censure. The sanctions will be the same for use of violence or property damage, based on race, nationality, ethnicity, religion and political views. Racist or xenophobic murders would be punished with 10 to 20 years imprisonment.

The amendments also envision an increase of the penalties for destruction of a protected area, valuable rock formations and cliffs. The fines for perpetrators would range from BGN 2,000 to BGN 10,000.

Up to three years imprisonment would be the penalty for poachers who kill protected animals or destroy protected plants.

The Penal Code will from now on oblige the Bulgarian state to recognize and apply legal implications of convictions, issued in other EU countries.

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Tags: hate speech, penal code, race, discrimination, sexual orientation, religion, poacher
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