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MADRID (AFP)---The leader of Spain's Federation of Jewish Communities on Monday urged lawmakers to make denial of the Holocaust once again punishable by imprisonment.
Spanish law had mandated a sentence of up to two years in prison for Holocaust denial but in November Spain's Constitutional Court ruled it falls within freedom of speech and would no longer be punishable with jail.
The court however ruled that imprisonment is a constitutional punishment for any individual convicted of justifying the Holocaust or any other genocide.
In an address to parliament, the federation leader Jacobo Israel Garzon asked
lawmakers to "think about how to once again introduce prison terms for Holocaust denial in the penal code".
Holocaust denial is "the threshold of hate speech" and its "depenalisation"
could lead to the rise in the distribution of Nazi propoganda, he added.
Holocaust denial is specifically targeted by laws in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Poland and Romania.
In April 2007 the European Union made inciting racism and xenophobia crimes throughout its 27 member states in a landmark decision tempered by caveats to appease free speech concerns.