The Romanian Chamber of Deputies adopted unanimously a bill introducing criminal sanctions for antisemitic acts.
The proposal was passed in record time, having been introduced at the Permanent Bureau
of the Chamber, and two days later adopted in plenary. Only one MP abstained.
The new law introduces sanctions of imprisonment for up to three years for promoting antisemitic ideas, for using antisemitic symbols in public, as well as for making, selling, spreading or holding for the purpose of spreading them, up to five years for distributing or publishing antisemitic material by any means, and up to ten years for initiating, establishing, joining or supporting an antisemitic organisation.
The new law also adopts the IHRA working definition of antisemitism, following the adoption thereof by the Romanian government in 2017. The legislative initiator of the bill was Silviu Vexler MP.
In the explanatory memorandum, the Chamber of Deputies explains in detail the necessity of adopting the new law: “to introduce measures to prevent and combat antisemitism also arises from the fact that public propagation of antisemitic ideas, conceptions and doctrines, as well as of antisemitic symbols or materials, on the Internet and through social networks, could not be overcome by means of the current legislative means. At the same time, promoting the fight against antisemitism needs to be considered in a wider context, alongside the struggle against intolerance, discrimination, racism, xenophobia, etc.”
“It is important to note that in 2018 80 years have passed since the introduction of racial and antisemitic laws in Romania was the catalyst for the Holocaust on Romanian territory, and the adoption of the abovementioned law” will be both an essential legislative instrument and an expression of the strong political commitment to firmly act against all forms of manifestation of this perception, based on hatred against Jews,” the Memorandum adds.