Verkhovna Rada criminalises anti-Semitism

Last November, the United Jewish Community of Ukraine claimed an act of anti-Semitism over the depiction of a swastika in the Lviv centre. Photo:

MPs have adopted a bill on criminal liability for anti-Semitism.

The Verkhovna Rada introduced criminal liability for manifestations of anti-Semitism, reports the official web portal of the Ukrainian Parliament.

The developers of the law have amended Article 191 of the Criminal Code ("Violation of equality of citizens based on their race, nationality, religious beliefs, disability and other grounds"). They supplemented this article with the words "for manifestations of anti-Semitism".

According to the adopted bill, deliberate acts aimed at inciting hatred and manifestations of anti-Semitism will be punishable with a fine of UAH 3,400 to 8,500 or with the restriction of liberty for up to five years or with imprisonment for up to three years with a possible ban on holding certain offices for up to three years.

If the incitement of hatred and acts of anti-Semitism are combined with violence, deceit or threats, and are committed by a public official, the offender faces a fine from UAH 8,500 to 17,000 or imprisonment from two to five years with (or without) disqualification from holding certain offices.

If the actions under Parts one and two were committed by an organised group or caused grave consequences, this is punishable by 5 to 8 years in prison, the portal reported.

The United Jewish Community of Ukraine commented to the PavlovskyNEWS Telegram channel on the adoption of the bill by the Verkhovna Rada.

"We welcome the adoption of the bill, which will allow law enforcers to more accurately qualify hate crimes, as previously many cases of anti-Semitism were qualified as hooliganism," the community told the channel.

In addition, the community specified that 52 cases of anti-Semitism were recorded in 2021, and only two cases of anti-Semitism in the past year resulted in criminal sentences for the perpetrators.

As earlier reported, a man tried to destroy a Jewish Menorah in Kyiv Maidan.

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