Deputy chairman of the Senate's Human Rights Committee, Liberal Ioan Cristina, believes that lawmakers need to fight hate speech and "direct their activities towards actions and initiatives that combat public hate rhetoric, discrimination or violence. The National Liberal Party has supported and will continue to support the combat of such incitement, and our actions in Parliament stand proof for that. Recently, the Senate adopted the clarifications to the Criminal Code that refer to incitement to hatred and discrimination, precisely in order to allow the sanctioning of these deeds," Ioan Cristina told AGERPRES on Wednesday, after the release of the US State Department's annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.
The Liberal senator wants the report on Romania to be discussed either in the Human Rights Committee, or in the Senate plenary.
"I will support - and I think my colleagues will agree - a debate on the report either in the committee or in the Senate plenary, so that we are as firm as possible in combating such practices," he added.
The US State Department released on Tuesday its annual report on human rights practices around the world. As far as Romania is concerned, the document mentions as significant human rights issues in 2020 cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by the government; widespread official corruption; lack of investigation and accountability for violence against women and girls; crimes of violence targeting institutionalized persons with disabilities and members of ethnic minority groups.
The report also states that the judiciary took steps to prosecute and punish officials who committed abuses, but authorities did not have effective mechanisms to do so and delayed proceedings involving alleged police abuse and corruption, with the result that many of the cases ended in acquittals. Impunity for perpetrators of some human rights abuses is also listed as a continuing problem.