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Hungary Criminalizes Holocaust Denial

Hungarian president Solyom at Yad Vashem

President of Hungary Laszlo Solyom has signed a law making Holocaust denial a crime. Starting in April 2010, denying or trivializing the Holocaust will be punishable by up to three years in prison.

The Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (Mazsihisz) issued a statement calling the law an important weapon in the fight against anti-Semitism, allowing the authorities to curtail the activities of extremists posing a threat to a peaceful society.

The Hungarian Parliament had rejected an amendment put forward by the main opposition party Fidesz to add to the bill an amendment making crimes by Hungary's pro-Nazi and communist regimes.

Some 550,000 Hungarian Jews and 50,000 Gypsies were murdered in the Holocaust.