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Jews in Rome Seek Equal Treatment for All Religions in Italy

The president of Italy’s legislature, the Chamber of Deputies, today assured a delegation of Jewish leaders here that parliamentary committees are examining two draft bills dealing with practical means for implementing Italy’s ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Genocide and with guarantees of equal treatment for all religions in this country. Judge Sergio Piperno, president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, and the other Jewish leaders, held a conference with the head of the Chamber of Deputies to inquire as to the status of the two drafts.

Italy signed and ratified the anti-genocide convention some years ago but, to date, has enacted no legislation implementing the UN document. A number of jurists here have objected to the UN convention’s provision about the extradition of persons charged with genocide. They hold that such a law would be contrary to the Italian Constitution, Several requests for the extradition of Nazi war criminals deemed guilty of genocide have been denied by the Italian courts.

The second measure is being advocated by a group of members of the Socialist Party, the party to which the Government belongs now. This draft would eliminate clauses in the penal code differentiating between offenses against the state religion and punishment for acts against minority religions.

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