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Extremism amendment moves to second reading

On Wednesday, February 4, the Slovak parliament moved to its second reading the so-called anti-extremist amendment to the Penal Code.

On Wednesday, February 4, the Slovak parliament moved to its second reading the so-called anti-extremist amendment to the Penal Code.

No members of parliament signed up for a discussion on the amendment before it was put to a vote, the SITA newswire wrote.

Seventy-nine deputies supported the amendment in the first reading. The opposition refrained from voting, with only Peter Miššík of the SDKÚ voted against it.

The amendment defines extremism, an extremist group, and extremist material, as well as the particular motive of a criminal deed, changes the subject matter of violent criminal deeds against a group of people and hooliganism.

It has been criticised by the non-governmental organisations Citizen and Democracy (Občan a Democracia) and People against Racism (Ľudia Proti Rasizmu). They argue that the definitions it uses are unprofessional and claim that it may interfere with basic rights and strengthen the position of the police at the expense of the general public. NGOs say that since 2006 the actual fight against extremism has been weak. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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