Last week, Greek lawmakers voted to include gender identity among the grounds coved by its hate speech law.
Hate speechPersons found guilty may face up to three years imprisonment, as well as a fine up to €20 000. Sexual orientation was already among the grounds included.
Results of the EU-wide LGBT survey carried out by the FRA show that 74 percent of Greek transgender people report hate speech towards LGBT people is widespread in Greece .
The same day, Greek Parliament voted to increase sentences for those found guilty of a hate crime. In case of hate crime, fines will be doubled and prison sentences may be extended up to three additional years.
Greek hate crime law already included bias motivated crime against LGBT persons.
Vice-President designate of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights Dennis de Jong MEP reacted: “I applaud the completion of Greek provisions against the incitement of hatred. The adopted measures show that the Greek government and parliament are serious about addressing hate speech and hate crime against LGBT people.”
“Laws are not sufficient, however. Too often perpetrators of attacks against transgender people have escaped penalties, not the least because police prefers to look away. But if accompanied by an awareness raising strategy targeting the LGBT community as well as law enforcement personnel, this will mean a big step forward for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”
Vice-President designate of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights Sophie in ‘t Veld MEP, added: “Greece is only the ninth country in the EU to address hate speech against transgender people. I believe it is time for the Union as a whole to seriously start tackling the problem of homophobic and transphobic hate speech and hate crime.”
“I encourage the European Commission to follow the Greek example and extend EU hate-crime and hate-speech law to cover all forms of bias, including homophobia and transphobia.”
Currently, the European Union only foresees specific, higher penalties for racist and xenophobic speech and crime through a 2008 Framework Decision.