Alfonsin Submits Anti-discrimination Legislation to Argentine Congress

President Raul Alfonsin has submitted to the Congress of Argentina a draft law which would punish discrimination on the basis of race or religion in a message to the legislature which makes specific reference to discrimination suffered by “citizens of Jewish origin,” the World Jewish Congress reported here.

The draft bill would punish racism and declare hull and void any act by which “individuals or groups have been discriminated against because of their race, nationality, religion, sex, ideology, private acts or physical characteristics.”

According to the Latin American branch of the WJC, the introduction to the draft bill last week, which was proposed by Alfonsin and the Minister of Education and Justice, Dr. Carlos Alconada Aramburu, makes reference to anti-Semitic propaganda and attacks that have taken place against schools, temples and businesses of the Jewish community.

Article 16 of the draft law stipulates that “anyone who harasses individuals or groups of individuals because of their race, religion, nationality, or ideology will be punished by six months to three years of prison; and that the same penalty will apply to those who incite such acts of harassment.”

The message to the legislature accompanying the draft speaks of “the commitment of the democratic government to respect and promote human rights.” It futher states that “discrimination and harassment because of color, national origin, sex, beliefs, private acts, or physical characteristics are deeply irrational attitudes” and specifically mentions those suffered by “citizens of Jewish origin or those belonging to certain Protestant sects.”

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