Hate speech in parliament disturbing, says AHC

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times December 2, 2016 09:52

Hate speech in parliament disturbing, says AHC

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  • “Hate speech and mutual accusations have nothing in common with constructive parliamentary debate,” the AHC said.

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TIRANA, Dec. 1 – The Albanian Helsinki Committee (AHC) urged members of Albanian Parliament to avoid hate speech in plenary sessions.

According to the Albanian Helsinki Committee, hate speech in Albania has recently intensified and turned into a disturbing phenomenon having a negative impact on the normal functioning of the parliament of a democratic country.

“AHC has reacted publicly about this issue, convinced that it would find the support of broader public opinion. AHC deems it appropriate to react again and appeal that the above phenomenon, which has harmful consequences, is not only not aggravated, but rather be seriously addressed by MPs of every side, the government and opposition,” AHC said in a press release.

The committee argued that certain issues can be accompanied by controversy and targeted criticism sometimes may be excessive and harsh. However, use of hate speech in parliamentary debates is not construction.

“They may not be constructive when a member of parliament assumes the role of the investigator, prosecutor or judge who launches accusations about the commission of penal offenses, claiming to possess full and indisputable evidence, thus ignoring the obligation to file the necessary denunciations with prosecution bodies. In fact, in this manner, he/she ignores and infringes upon the constitutional principle of the presumption of innocence, sanctioned in article 30 of the Constitution,” the AHC noted.

The Albanian Helsinki Committee said it noted with regret that certain members of parliaments do not hesitate to harm even the personal dignity of their colleagues and even of other persons outside the parliament.

AHC is convinced that if there were a survey to solicit the opinion of ordinary citizens on their evaluation of the conduct of plenary sessions, especially on Thursdays, a considerable percentage would have a negative assessment.

AHC believes that the survey would prove that the number of persons watching plenary sessions aired by TV stations was declining which represents an indicator that would require reflection, because, after all, the people that have chosen their representatives in the legislative body, independently from what their affiliation or party sympathies, want the members of parliament to discuss and resolve those problems that are a preoccupation for people.

“Hate speech and mutual accusations have nothing in common with constructive parliamentary debate,” the AHC said.

In conclusion, the Albanian Helsinki Committee recommended that the Assembly approve the Code of Ethics for members of parliament.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times December 2, 2016 09:52