Dec 21st, 2006, 09:08 AM
VIENNA, Austria: British author David Irving, imprisoned on charges of denying the Holocaust, was set to return to his home country after an Austrian court ruled he should be freed.
Vienna's highest court ruled Wednesday that Irving will be allowed to serve the rest of his three-year sentence on probation. The court granted Irving's appeal and converted two-thirds of his sentence into probation, said Anton Sumerauer, vice president and spokesman for the court.In February, a Vienna court sentenced Irving to three years imprisonment under a 1992 law which applies to "whoever denies, grossly plays down, approves or tries to excuse the National Socialist genocide or other National Socialist crimes against humanity in a print publication, in broadcast or other media."
The law calls for a prison term of up to 10 years.
During his one-day trial earlier this year, Irving pleaded guilty to the charge of denying the Holocaust but maintained he never questioned it in the first place.
Both the defense and the prosecution appealed the sentence. In September, Austria's Supreme Court upheld Irving's conviction.
Irving has been in custody since his November 2005 arrest on charges stemming from two speeches he gave in Austria in 1989 for which he was accused of denying the Nazis' extermination of 6 million Jews. He has contended that most of those who died at concentration camps like Auschwitz succumbed to diseases such as typhus rather than execution.link (http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/12/21/europe/EU_GEN_Austria_Holocaust_Denier.php)
Dec 21st, 2006, 05:09 PM
as much as i hate the nazis and their apologists i don't think laws like this should exist. they just limit freedom of speech. in france denying the armenian genocide is now illegal as well. i don't see what's the point? people should be educated about the holocaust and nazism and that should be enough.
Dec 21st, 2006, 05:12 PM
Laws against Holocaust denial
Holocaust denial is illegal in a number of European countries: Austria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austria) (article 3h Verbotsgesetz 1947), Belgium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgium) (Belgian Negationism Law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgian_Negationism_Law)), the Czech Republic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_Republic) under section 261, France (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France) (Loi Gayssot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loi_Gayssot)), Germany (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany) (§ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C2%A7) 130 (3) of the penal code) also the Auschwitzlüge law section 185, Lithuania (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithuania), The Netherlands (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Netherlands) under articles 137c and 137e, Poland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poland), Romania (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romania), Slovakia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slovakia), Spain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spain) and Switzerland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland) (article 261bis of the Penal Code). In addition, under Law 5710-1950 it is also illegal in Israel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel).
The following punishments are used with regards to Holocaust Denial Laws: Austria (min: six months, max: twenty years (violent), ten years (non-violent)), Belgium (min: fine, max: one year), Czech Republic (min: six months, max: two years), France (min: fine/one month, max: two years), Germany (min: fine/six months max: five years), Israel (min: one year, max: five years), Lithuania (min: fine/two years, max: ten years (violent)), Poland (min: fine/three months, max: three years), Romania (min: six months, max: three years (public offender), five years (public servant offender)), Slovakia (min: fine/one month, max: three years) and Switzerland (min: fine/one year, max: fifteen months).
Many of these countries also have broader laws against libel or inciting racial hatred, as do a number of countries that do not specifically have laws against Holocaust denial, such as Canada and the United Kingdom. The Council of Europe's 2003 Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cyber Crime (http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Treaties/Html/189.htm), concerning the criminalisation of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems includes an article 6 titled Denial, gross minimisation, approval or justification of genocide or crimes against humanity, though this does not have the status of law.
Of the countries that ban Holocaust denial, a number (Austria, Germany, Romania and Slovakia) were among the perpetrators of the Holocaust (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust), and many of these also ban other elements associated with Nazism, such as Nazi symbols. Additionally, scholars have pointed out that countries that specifically ban Holocaust denial generally have legal systems that limit speech in other ways, such as banning hate speech. In the words of D. Guttenplan, this is a split between the "common law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_law) countries of the US, Britain, and former British colonies from the civil law countries of continental Europe. In civil law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_law_%28legal_system%29) countries the law is generally more proscriptive. Also under the civil law regime the judge acts more as an inquisitor, gathering and presenting evidence as well as interpreting it" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_denial#_note-49)
Many Holocaust deniers claim their work falls under a "universal right to free speech", and see these laws as a confirmation of their own beliefs, arguing that the truth does not need to be legally enforced. Some people who do not deny that the Holocaust occurred nevertheless oppose such restrictions of free speech, including, despite her legal battle with David Irving, Deborah Lipstadt. Another prominent opponent of the laws is Noam Chomsky (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noam_Chomsky). An uproar resulted when Serge Thion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serge_Thion) used one of Chomsky's essays without explicit permission as a foreword to a book of Holocaust denial essays (see Faurisson affair (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faurisson_affair)). At times, Holocaust deniers seek to rely on Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Convention_on_Human_Rights), which guarantees freedom of expression, when faced with criminal sanctions against their statements or publications. The European Court of Human Rights (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Court_of_Human_Rights) however consistently declares their complaints inadmissible. According to Article 17 of the Convention, nothing in the Convention may be construed so as to justify acts that are aimed at destroying any of the very rights and freedoms contained therein. Invoking free speech to propagate denial of crimes against humanity is, according to the Court's case-law, contrary to the spirit in which the Convention was adopted in the first place. Reliance on free speech in such cases would thus constitute an abuse of a fundamental right.link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_denial)
Dec 21st, 2006, 05:35 PM
as much as i hate the nazis and their apologists i don't think laws like this should exist. they just limit freedom of speech.I agree. I'm against using the law to stifle academic debate. If a few :cuckoo: people want to present an opposing point of view, then silence them with facts.in france denying the armenian genocide is now illegal as well.I think that the bill still needs to be approved by the Senate and President :scratch:, but it would allow for a 1-year prison sentence and a € 45,000 finei don't see what's the point? people should be educated about the holocaust and nazism and that should be enough.:yeah:
I also think that people need to be taught critical thinking skills so that they can easily dismiss :bs: such as denial of the Holocaust.