Justice Minister seeks postponement to debate in Parl’t of anti-racism bill

Justice Minister Haralambos Athanassiou on Friday sought an extension of about a week for the debate of a much-delayed anti-racism bill in Parliament.

The draft legislation had been due for discussion on August 26 and 27 ahead of a vote by the House’s summer session but it appears that the discussion will be put back to September 1 or 2 after the minister cited “unforeseen obstacles.”

The bill, which foresees stiffer penalties for individuals and political parties who engage in racism or incite racist violence, was first submitted to Parliament in November but objections from the then cabinet secretary Panayiotis Baltakos forced the government to withdraw the would-be legislation. It was resubmitted to the House but has not moved beyond the committee stages for several months.

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