Flere reagerer på Skottlands planer om ny lov mot hatkriminalitet

Foto: Roan Lavery fra Unsplash
Foto: Roan Lavery fra Unsplash

Parlamentet i Skottland har planer om en ny lov mot hatkriminalitet, men vekker motstand.

BBC skriver at en gruppe polititjenestemenn har gått ut og sagt at loven kan ødelegge politiets legitimitet og dets relasjon til offentligheten, da loven vil føre til at politiet må straffeforfølge ytringer.

The Law Society of Scotland har gått ut og sagt at det er mangler med lovens forutsigbarhet, og at den kan true ytringsfriheten.

Justisminister Humza Yousaf sa til BBC at “that freedom of expression was not under attack, and was committed to “ensuring Scotland is a place where there is zero tolerance of hate crime”.

Denne illusjonen om null-toleranse for hatkriminalitet har fått flere til å reagere. En gruppe av kjente personer i Skottland, inkludert skuespiller Rowan Atkinson, har signert et åpent brev der de advarer mot lovens konsekvenser:

 “We represent a diverse group of individuals and organisations concerned about the impact on freedom of expression of the proposed Hate Crime and Public Order Bill as currently drafted.”

It explained that the Bill “creates stirring up offences without any intent being examined; merely that the words, action, or artwork might do so”.

It added: “This offence could even be applied to being in possession of materials produced by someone else, where sharing the material could stir up hatred.”

Critics of the Bill have pointed out in recent weeks that this could include the Bible.

Flourishing society

The letter’s signatories, which also include homosexual activist Peter Tatchell and philosopher A C Grayling, continued: “The unintended consequences of this well meaning bill risk stifling freedom of expression, and the ability to articulate or criticise religious and other beliefs.

“As currently worded, the bill could frustrate rational debate and discussion which has a fundamental role in society including in artistic endeavour. The arts play a key part in shaping Scotland’s identity in addition to being a significant economic contributor.

“The right to critique ideas, philosophical, religious and other must be protected to allow an artistic and democratic society to flourish.”

Forslaget til ny lovtekst kan leses her: Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill (PDF)

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