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Spanish bookstore owner jailed for justifying genocide

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MADRID (JTA) — A Barcelona bookshop owner was sentenced to prison for the crime of “honoring and justifying genocide.” 

Pedro Valera, owner of the Europa bookshop, was given a term of two years, nine months for “selling and spreading in a continuous manner books that honor and justify the genocide committed by Hitler against the Jewish people and other minorities.”

The sentence, which was handed down Monday in a Barcelona court, also accused the bookshop of marketing “books that belittle other races or ethnicities, women, homosexuals and disabled people,” as well as organizing neo-Nazi conferences.

Valera also was fined nearly $4,000.   

“I am not saying there was not persecution of the Jews, but so far nobody has found these famous bars of soap into which they were supposedly transformed," an unrepentant Valera said during the trial.  "And I doubt the numbers of the dead would reach the mythical 6 million.”

While Holocaust denial is not punishable by imprisonment in Spain, justifying it is. The Constitutional Court ruling was implemented in 2007 following the suspension of a five-year prison sentence against Valera on the grounds that imprisonment for Holocaust denial is “unconstitutional.”  

 

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