Symbols of aggression bill heads into second reading

Ribbon of Saint George.
Ribbon of Saint George. Source: Sergei Stepanov / ERR

Draft legislation to ban symbols of aggression, put together by the Riigikogu Legal Affairs Committee based on bills tabled by Isamaa and the coalition, will come up for its second reading in the Riigikogu on Wednesday.

The final text of the law provides that public display of symbols associated with acts of aggression, genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes in a way that supports or vindicates these acts is punishable by a fine of up to 300 units or detention.

The fine for legal persons is up to €32,000.

Amendments to the Penal Code concern joining a foreign country's act of aggression outside the territory of Estonia, participation in and support for such acts if the perpetrator was an Estonian citizen, residence permit holder, had the right to reside in Estonia at the time or was a registered legal person.

Joining the armed forces of a foreign country committing an act of aggression or an armed group participating in a foreign country's act of aggression, participating in the execution of or preparations for a foreign country's act of aggression or consciously supporting, including through financial means, such acts, provided an offense has not been committed pursuant to § 91 of the code at hand, is punishable by imprisonment for five years.

For legal persons, a pecuniary punishment is prescribed for the same act.

Should the bill pass its second reading, the third is scheduled for Thursday.

The initial bill of the Ministry of Justice included an item that sought to amend regulation of incitement of hatred. This so-called hate speech section would have prescribed punishments for incitement of hatred even in cases where no direct threat to life, health or property is created. The Reform Party agreed to remove the item from the draft legislation following pressure from other parties.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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