Belgrade (May. 30)
A law outlewing racial discrimination in Yugoslavia and forbidding anti-Jewish and other propaganda leading to incitement against racial and religious groups was passed by the National Liberation Council here yesterday. The law will become effective when it is published in the official gazette.
The Belgrade radio reporting the text of the law, emphasized that it was drafted “in order to safeguard equality of peoples and citizens within the country, regardless of their nationality, race or religion.” It gave the text as follows:
1. Any restrictions on individual rights against people in Yugoslavia on the grounds of nationality, race or religion will be considered a criminal offense.
2. Anyone conducting propaganda or activities leading to racial hatred, will be punished. This includes the writing, reproducing and dissemination of inciting literature.
3. A person guilty of committing any of the above offenses will be liable to imprisonment for a period from three to five years, with the possible loss of civil rights after serving his sentence.
4. Under “aggravating circumstances,” anyone guilty of these offenses will be punished by two to fifteen years of rigorous imprisonment and the confiscation of his property. In cases of incitement to murder, those guilty will be sentenced to death.
5. Incitement to religious hatred is to carry the same punishment as incitement to racial hatred.
In elaborating on the meaning of the new law, the broadcast emphasired that religious intolerance consists of a person of one religion attacking any other religion and provoking a hostile attitude on the part of persons of one religion against persons of another religion. Scientific criticism of religion is not regarded as inciting religious hatred.