Hate speech aimed at the elderly or people with a disability will soon become crime, once Parliament approves a set of legal amendments to the Criminal Code that were presented today by Inclusion Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli.
The minister presented a Bill to amend the law in Parliament today with Nationalist Party deputy leader David Agius saying that the Opposition would also be supporting the changes.
Agius said the PN also believed it was time to introduce a law the protected the elderly from physical, sexual and psychological abuse.
The minister told the House that the changes are aimed at giving the police more tools to protect society’s vulnerable against online abuse.
She said it was incumbent on Parliament to send a message of zero-tolerance to hatred adding that it was unacceptable that the current law did not protect these groups.
“We’re proud of the fact that we’re a supposedly inclusive country but we’ve stopped short in the past of implementing the necessary laws to protect certain groups,” she said.
Once approved, the Bill will see physical or mental disability, as well as old age, added to the list of identifiers under the country’s hate crime laws.
She said the Bill followed several calls by the Commission for Disabled Persons for this to happen.
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