Majority assured – Prohibition law: Tightening before the decision

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A decision on tightening the prohibition law can probably be made this year. In the Justice Committee on Thursday, not only the coalition parties, but also the SPÖ and NEOS, approved the amendment, which should ensure the necessary constitutional majority.

Anyone who spreads or wears National Socialist or other symbols banned in Austria will face significantly higher penalties in the future. This also applies to symbols of Hamas, the Gray Wolves and the PKK.

Moreover, any trivialization of the Holocaust and other National Socialist atrocities – and not just ‘gross’ atrocities – will be punishable in the future. The amendment to the Prohibition Act also makes it easier to punish crimes committed abroad and confiscate Nazi memorabilia.

Libertarians reject the law change
The FPÖ justified its rejection of the amendment by saying that in its view it was excessive on two counts, namely the automatic loss of office for officials convicted under the Prohibition Act and the easier confiscation of Nazi memorabilia. These may be seized in the future even if they are not related to a crime.

This means that wedding photos of the grandfather in a soldier’s uniform can also be confiscated, justice spokesman Harald Stefan explains in a broadcast. On the loss of civil servants’ posts, the Liberal MP said: “This means that a convicted sex offender who has caused serious lifelong suffering to a child, or someone who condones Hamas’ terror, can remain a civil servant, as can someone be convicted under the prohibition law, but not a minimum penalty.”

Minister of Justice sees historic reforms
Justice Minister Alma Zadic (Greens) spoke about a historical novella. The last major reform of the prohibition law took place more than three decades ago, she pointed out. The SPÖ had initially waited to give approval because it was skeptical about the possibility of distraction for adults. However, these concerns have been taken into account in the targeted diversion programs now planned.

In many cases, targeted programs for suspects would yield much more than prison sentences, especially because there is a risk of further radicalization in prisons, the NEOS also found.

Source: Krone

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