Justice shadow minister Jason Azzopardi this evening welcomed the introduction of revenge porn as a crime and said the Opposition had no difficulty with the part of the Bill amending the Criminal Code which amended the pornography laws.

However, the government, for its own reasons which one could easily conclude what they were, it opted to bring this part of the Bill together with another part removing the vilification of religion.

Dr Azzopardi said the Bill showed the government’s inconsistency. He referred to a court judgement given on May 8, 2014 in which a person (Cyrus Engerer) was given a two year suspended jail term for revenge porn.

Following the judgement, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat named this person a soldier of steel, gave him a standing ovation and a phenomenal wage to the tune of 70,000 to 80,000 euros in a Maltese embassy abroad.

“Is this logical? Is this justice,” he asked.

Dr Azzopardi said the Opposition also agreed that artistic community should have more leeway and should not be afraid that it would be taken to court because of its artistic expression.

But the minister was mixing things up. For the law being removed, that on vilification of religion, also spoke on public order, security and peace of mind particularly after what happened in Paris last November.

“This is the most short-sighted and dangerous decision the government has taken so far… Is it possible that reason does not illuminate those who want this Bill at this point in time,” he said.

Presenting a number of Charlie Hebdo drawings as an example of vilification of religion, Dr Azzopardi said that although no one should impose his religion on others and everyone had a right to express themselves, one should not be insulting.

He remained in possession of the House.

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