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June 30, 2015 1:39 am

Council of Europe Calls on Spain to Introduce Laws to Combat Antisemitism

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

The Puerta del Sol in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Puerta del Sol in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Council of Europe called on Spain to pass “new and comprehensive anti-discrimination laws” to combat prejudices against Jews, Roma and other minority groups.

The Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities said such laws would make Spain “safer for migrants and Roma people.”

In its report on Spain, the committee said “prejudice and intolerance against Roma, as well as islamophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance against migrants, continue to be expressed, notably in the print and audiovisual media and on the Internet, as well as in political life.”

Spain should “ensure that all alleged cases of hate speech, including those committed on the internet and in the print and audiovisual media, are effectively investigated, prosecuted and sanctioned,” said the committee.

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The Council’s call came after the lower Spanish parliament approved a law that would allow Jews claiming Sephardi lineage to apply for citizenship, paving the way for final legislation.

Earlier this month, The Algemeiner reported on a recent column in a prominent Spanish newspaper that accused a “Jewish lobby” of exerting inordinate influence on the FC Barcelona soccer club. Both the newspaper, Mundo Deportivo, and columnist Xavier Bosch denied accusations of antisemitism.

Also, a newly appointed Spanish official in the capital Madrid was forced to step down this month over an antisemitic “joke” he tweeted several years ago.

According to the Stephen Ruth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism, media antisemitism in Spain occurs at a level that would be considered unacceptable in other European countries.

The Council of Europe is an independent intergovernmental body aimed at promoting European cooperation over human rights issues and upholding democratic standards. It functions outside the EU.

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