BUDAPEST (JTA) — Hungarian President Laszlo Solyom signed into law legislative reforms making Holocaust denial a criminal offense.
The law adopted Wednesday makes Holocaust denial an offense punishable by imprisonment of up to three years.
It brings Hungary in line with other European countries under Nazi occupation during the World War II in which Holocaust denial already is a criminal offense.
The reforms proposed by the minority Socialist administration were approved by the Hungarian Parliament late last month. But there were serious doubts over their passage into the statute books because Solyom had blocked similar legislative attempts in the past, provoking outrage from the Hungarian Jewish community.
This time the president expressed disapproval over the timing of the reforms, as they coincide with bitter political campaigning preceding next month’s parliamentary elections.
The elections are widely expected to defeat the government and produce an ultra-Conservative administration led by the populist Fidesz Party. All Fidesz deputies abstained from last month’s parliamentary vote on the Holocaust denial legislation.