Justice minister to withdraw blasphemy provision amid backlash

Justice Minister Kosta Tsiaras announced on Tuesday he will withdraw a controversial provision that would re-establish blasphemy as a crime punishable by up to two years sin prison, citing reactions to the proposed legislation.

The minister has announced a series of amendments to the new penal code that was approved by Greece's Parliament in July this year.

Speaking to television channel SKAI, Tsiaras said the provision is aimed at "protecting the rights of religious minorities" following the tensions created by local communities around Greece against the housing of migrants and refugees who were transferred from overcrowded island camps.
"It will be withdrawn. Considering there is a general understanding that is going against it, I think we have to take it seriously," he said.

"Since there is such a reaction…it [the provision] should not become the...

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