Justice minister: Coalition will proceed with hate speech legislation

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Minister of Justice Maris Lauri (Reform). Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Minister of Justice Maris Lauri (Reform) said that the government is planning to add the criminalization of hate speech to the Riigikogu's agenda.

Lauri confirmed to daily newspaper Postimees that the Reform and Center parties will take action on hate speech draft legislation, but emphasized the definition of hate speech needs to be specified.

"Hate speech is when somebody incites to attack people because they are part of a group they cannot change. Shouldn't the people who incite or commit a criminal offense be punished?" Lauri said.

The minister of justice thinks the levels of penalties should be reevaluated and when hate speech brings along criminal consequences, then a prison sentence of one to three years could be imposed.

The draft legislation submitted by the Reform Party, which was then in opposition, fell out of the Riigikogu proceedings at the first reading during the last coalition of EKRE, the Center Party and the Isamaa.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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