A law criminalizing racist speech, incitement to hatred and discrimination, has been approved in Tunisia after a lengthy debate with 125 members of parliament voting for it, one against and five abstaining.
Under the newly passed legislation, offenders can be jailed for one month and fined 1,000 dinars ($350, 300 euros) for using racist language.
Incitement to hatred, making racist threats, spreading and advocating racism, and belonging to an organization that supports discrimination are punishable by one to three years in prison and can be fined up to 3,000 dinars.
Several human rights organizations hailed the new move, urging the government to approve the law.
Meanwhile, the parliament continued on Wednesday to study a list of candidates for the Constitutional Court but has so far failed to reach agreement on the membership of four candidates who need the approval of one third (145) of the legislature’s MPs.
Mustafa bin Ahmad, the head of the National Coalition bloc that now includes 51 lawmakers and comes second after Ennahda, stressed the importance of consensus among the different parliamentary blocs on the Constitutional Court candidates.
It is very difficult to garner the votes of one third of parliament’s members to win a seat on the Court, he said.