Civil Liberties and Oppression in Europe
Civil Liberties and Oppression in Europe
By Baron Bodissey
Table of Contents
In European civil libertarian circles, when looking ahead to the implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon, the possibilities for future political repression are often explored. The “harmonization” of national laws to accord with the rules imposed by Brussels will demand an overall standard that is much more like Sweden’s laws against hets mot folkgrupp than Denmark’s free-wheeling tradition of open expression.
The European Commission’s “Framework Decision” (http://europa.eu/scadplus/leg/en/lvb/l33178.htm) provides an idea of what the new regime will be like for member states:
As a follow-up to Joint Action 98/443/JHA (http://europa.eu/scadplus/leg/en/lvb/l33058.htm), this proposal provides for the approximation of the laws and regulations of the Member States regarding offences involving racism and xenophobia. Racist and xenophobic behaviour must constitute an offence in all Member States and be punishable by effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties.
This framework decision will apply to all offences committed:
- within the territory of the European Union,
- by an national of a Member State or for the benefit of a legal person established in a Member State. To that end, the framework decision proposes criteria on how to determine the liability of a legal person.
Racism and xenophobia will mean belief in race colour, descent, religion or belief, national or ethnic origin as a factor determining aversion to individuals.
Expect the definition of “racism and xenophobia” to expand so that it includes almost all forms of criticism of Islam.
Unfortunately, however, the repression of free speech and other civil liberties is already a fact in many European countries. The incidents collected in the summary below are just a sample of what has occurred. The UK, in particular, has many more examples of legal action against free speech than can possibly be enumerated here.
I am indebted to a number of people for their help in compiling these summaries. Their names or pseudonyms are listed in the header for each country.
Compiled by Kepiblanc
Denmark has more freedom of speech than any other country in Europe, and perhaps in the world. There are very few examples of any infringement on the Danish right of free speech. In contrast, there are many examples of free speech uninhibited by governmental oppression or lawfare, notably the continuing iterations of the Mohammed Cartoons crisis, the demonstrations by SIAD against Islamization, and other expressions of popular sentiment.
Islamisk Trossamfund lost all complaints against Jyllands-Posten. It has threatened to get a Fatwa against Carsten Juste (the editor) if the Strassbourg Court rejects the case (as it must, due to Denmark’s opt-outs).
Islamisk Trossamfund sued the chairman of Dansk Folkeparti, Pia Kjaersgaard, for stating: “Muslims are a fifth column and commit high treason”. She was acquitted.
The former leader of Fremskridspartiet, Mogens Glistrup, got 20 days behind bars for stating: “Muslims multiply like rats (or maybe rabbits?), and when they are plentiful enough, they will kill us”.
Compiled by KGS, Vasarahammer, and Marianna
Charged and Convicted “Offenders”
1) An anti-Semitic op-ed in a local newspaper in Porvoo (Uusimaa) led to a prosecution of the writer and the editor.
HELSINKI (EJP) – A Finnish court has found a newspaper editor guilty of inciting racial hatred after he published a reader’s letter which approved of the Holocaust. Antti Toiviainen, chief editor of Finnish regional daily Uusimaa, was fined 1,050 euros by a Porvoo district court in southern Finland on Tuesday. The letter writer, whose identity was not disclosed, was also found guilty of inciting racial hatred and was fined 570 euros. The letter was also published in the leftist newspaper Kansan Uutiset paper. Chief editor Janne Mäkinen had refused to run the letter but it was later published due to a technical fault or a human error. The chief editor was ordered to pay a fine of 400 euros for failing to meet his obligations as editor.
2) TomaShot case – A man from Tuusula maintained a website containing racist material and was convicted. He did not appeal.
The blogger Tomashot, who operated the now defunct UUTISIA SUOMESTA website, a catalogue for various news stories and articles that dealt with immigration, Political Correctness and other Eurabia related issues, was dealt a serious blow by Finland’s judicial system today. He was fined 825 € and ordered to close down his website.
3) Petri Peltonen case – A man from Helsinki wrote a book of poems containing some heavy racist and anti-Semitic material. He turned himself in and was convicted.
Poet Petri Peltonen has been served with a warrant at the request of Minorities Ombudsman for charges of having incited against an ethnic group. The basis for the charges were Peltonen’s book Causes and Consequences. Peltonen had himself sent both of his books to Minorities Ombudsman Mikko Puumalainen.
4) Mikko Ellilä – fined for writing offensive material about Africans.
A court sentenced the 30-year old Espoo resident to a fine for inciting racial hatred. It found that the man’s writings on the Internet constituted illegal propaganda.
5) Seppo Lehto – He is going to be charged for defamation, incitement towards ethnic group for his numerous blogs.
This is not all and there are other cases media is silent about. To be fair, Seppo Lehto deserves to be prosecuted for the defamatory material he has posted in his numerous “filth blogs”. However, he is more like ‘a village idiot’ than anything else.
Charged But Then Later Dropped
Then there is Suomen Sisu case: Suomen Sisu published the Motoons on their website, which led to a police investigation. However, the case never went to trial, since the prosecutor decided not to prosecute.
Finnish penal code contains a law that criminalizes incitement against a group of people
(Criminal code section 11 paragraph 8) (sic) A person who spreads statements or other information among the public where a certain race, a national, ethnic or religious group or a comparable group is threatened, defamed or insulted shall be sentenced for ethnic agitation to a fine or to imprisonment for at most two years.
Remarks by Vasarahammer:
- The authorities want to increase the power of the Anti-discrimination board (Syrjintälautakunta), which is a kind of ‘kangaroo court’, to include incitement of ethnic hatred. Currently, Anti-discrimination board has no real power to punish individuals for discrimination.
- The authorities want to establish precedents in court to enable speedier conviction of those who distribute racist material. They want convictions, because they want to interpret the rather vague paragraph about incitement to ethnic hatred more strictly than before.
- The authorities want to establish a “Super Ombudsman” who would take care of all discrimination cases and who would also be able to penalize those who break the law without a trial.
- The authorities want to make the internet service providers responsible for the content available. The service providers would then be held responsible if they allow access to websites containing racist material. This would mean that access to websites containing racist material would be blocked in the same way websites containing child porn are blocked.
The above is mainly speculation though Puumalainen, Illman & co. have indirectly indicated their desire for censorship by stating: “We should utilize the same methods that are used in combatting child porn.” Some of my old blog posts contain links to some of the statements.
To sum it up, the situation is currently very bad and it is getting worse. The scandal involving publication of SMS messages sent by Matti Vanhanen will not make things any better.
Remarks by Marianna:
I don’t know of any cases of legal suppression of free speech or similar state action besides the one you mention – that, I believe, is only a beginning of something new. And as for point 3) protests, I don’t think there have been any here, not against jihad or similar. We do have an old but valid blasphemy law that has been dormant for a while, and a law about “disturbing the peace of religious practice” (uskonrauhan rikkominen) that has been brought up a few times in connection with Motoons etc, hinting that it could be used as a basis of censorship in such cases.
As you perhaps know yourself, in Finland suppressing free speech happens on another level, you just don’t make it to the public sphere if you come with the wrong message. I believe it’s very much as it was with the critique of anything Soviet during the Cold War, although I wasn’t here then.
You certainly remember the recent case of Yle refusing to air the Danish documentary on imams (can’t recall the title now), although it aired the rest of the series to which it belonged. Well, that one was reversed thanks to the Internet and active people.
And I’m sure you know about the Kaltio Mo-case, when the cartoonist who draw the President and PM cheering to the guys burning Danish flags – the paper lost its ad support from the insurance company Tapiola, the editor was fired, the cartoonist lost a job as Snellman illustrator – but it “just happened”, no legal intervention here by the state. Again, some of those decisions were reversed later, but not all.
I myself have written to HS twice, once to Vieraskynä, once to Sunday debate – the only forums besides “letters” open to outsiders in that paper. To Vieraskynä in 2006 about the repression of Islam critique in Europe through threats of violence, as a freedom of speech issue – it was a response to Finland congratulating itself as a wonderland of free speech, in connection with the Politkovskaya case (my message was like: OK, Russia is bad, but we have problems in Europe too). To Sunday debate in 2004 about women’s situation in the ME as a response to a Hämeen-Anttila interview where he denounced Western “turbanophobia” and claimed that if Iraq became an Islamic state women’s status would be “quite good, not worse than in the rest of ME”. (There, my point was that the current ME situation was not “quite good”). Neither of those articles was published, although they were very polite, PC and appealed mostly to immigrant/Middle Eastern dissidents’ and women’s rights. Suppression of free speech? Well, certainly not state-sanctioned censorship. And a private paper is fully free to decide which external stories it runs, or not. One can always say that the piece you send is not well written, or not of interest to the public (although, in the Vieraskynä case, it was odd that I did not qualify to write on freedom of speech, having then just defended a PhD on democracy and individual rights, as the column often runs op-eds by people doing their doctoral research).
I stop on this just to indicate how things generally work in Finland. No legal repression is needed, when talking about certain things in a certain way is something that you “just don’t do”, and the guardians of the public sphere take care of that even if someone is naive enough to try. Also in social sciences: write a research plan about studying “the challenges to democracy posed by changes in the cultural landscape/re-emergence of religion in the political sphere/the rise of new fundamentalisms and extremisms, nationalist as well as religious”, and you just don’t get any funding from the state monopoly institutions. Promise to study “our prejudices against the so-called terrorists” or “the implicitly imperialist and racist dimensions of the so-called gender equality discourse in Third world communications” and your funding is guaranteed.
This happens everywhere, I’m sure, but Finland is specific, because here we often don’t have second or third options. So what remains to the not-PC-enough folks is the blogosphere – and the recent debates indicate that that’s worrying the guardians, and they are trying to start doing something about it. Ellilä of course is totally non-PC, even actually racist (although there is no to violence). Are they starting from there and heading towards criminalizing the “disturbing religious peace through defamation of religion”? – who knows. But I know of no other legal cases either, not yet.
Compiled from Politically Incorrect (http://www.pi-news.net/)
1) German and Swiss cases of oppression (including intimidation, lawsuits, arrests, or threats of arrest) involving Islam or “racism” in some way,
The Racists-Hunter from Switzerland
At the end of February a message from a PI reader reached us from an Internet cafe. The woman writing us just had a visit from the state prosecutor’s office and her computer had just been confiscated.
The PI reader wrote:
Dear PI team
Also in Switzerland the “Year of Intercultural Dialogue” is already fully under way. Our Foreign Minister Mrs Calmy-Rey has expressed her confidence on the integration of Muslims. (NZZ 22.2.08)
I should hope too. Early this morning, two gentlemen of the public prosecutor’s office stood in front of my door and told me they would have to take me with them. They also seized my PC. That’s why here I sit in the Internet cafe look back on the free speech in Switzerland.
What happened? After a series of charges for violations of the anti-racism law from Berne, of which one led to a high fine for a fireplace joke where another to procedure, because of a sentence in which the Quran was described as a manual of terror. I had also recommended the high-censor of the be-afraid-culture in Switzerland to explore the hate speech of the Quran. This lawyer had charged me now. A Mr. K. from Burgdorf. I had mentioned about him – a man with an enormous moustache he wore in the face – after the action from Seldwyla in the SVP forum, whether this was a Stalin or Muslim moustache and had written, “the moustache with the full moustache would be indeed an ajatoll (aja-perfect) guardian of the State of God.” And so we could be tense, what “Allah’s enlightened well-paid-dog chain, who claims (literally) having a ‘basic understanding of human dignity’, would sniff out on human rights in the Quran”. And “I particularly recommend that honourable man to identify the women’s role in Islam.”
Even a diligent collector of material against the Islam-critics in the forum, who figured there under the name Ahmad had already announced openly that he would evaluate (!) everything at the time given. I mentioned after this initial charges wave as follows:
“While the plashing and babbling blithely continues, Ahmed performs his hard mental working of scrupulous collecting of materials in the Islamic Center of freedom of expression. He can present them to the chain-dog and lawyer of Allah in Burgdorf ever with the right Quranic interpretation. I would love to see Kettiger (pbuh) ‘in legal proceedings’ once too.”
(With the latter one of the religious police had threatened us in the forum. ‘Wait until you stand in the court’) pbuh
“And now sniffle, Ketti (Chaniy), as long as the law still exists that feeds you here,” I wrote. “True, friends, who calls Allah’s chain-dog a ‘denouncer’ calls will be displayed.”
So far the Corpus Delictum. It’s not the point yet.
The question at the state attorney is whether the word game with the name of (Kettinger) “chain-dog” was a criminal abuse. I would like to remember you to a cartoon which once was published in a Swiss daily newspaper and showed the assembled Swiss Federal Council with Councillor Couchepin holding George Kreis, chief guardian of the Swiss public opinion supervision as a small doggy on a leash. The well known historian Georg Kreis is president of the Swiss Federal Commission against Racism. Federal Councillor Couchepin is the man who, despite the unfortunate role Kreis plays in the Swiss be-afraid-culture confirmed his job for further action against the resistance.
This time the accusation is not for “racial discrimination”, but for “insulting”. Caricatures and word satires are no longer tolerated. The Free Speech bears muzzle.
In each of the cases persecuted by the racist-hunter the user data of the accused writers had to been handed out. When asked who was drawing the chains (Ketten) behind Kettiger he replied:
“I follow the activities of the Islam critics on a representational basis.”
Who could this be? Muslims or non-Muslims, that is the question.
Berlin senior state persecutor fired because of Islam criticism
Roman Reusch who had a hard line persecuting youth criminality, often committed by Muslim youngsters, was mobbed out of his job and forced into a ne position by left wing politicians. He had mentioned facts about crimes of young foreigners in interviews and was forced to remain silent.
Hitler greeting on anti-Islamic book cause for sentence
In good old Germany clocks tick differently, everyone is extremely sensitive in dealing with right-wing symbols. Their use is partially banned in because they are against the constitution and it does not matter why they were used. This has led to a grotesque situation in which a man has been charged for the possession of flyers showing the cover picture of a free-for-sale anti-Islam and anti-fascism book. The cover showed Islamists doing the Hitler greeting.
The accused David Goldner has later been declared innocent: http://www.pi-news.net/2007/05/freispruch-fuer-david-goldner/
Countless defaming video clips are on YouTube about PI-founder Stefan Herre, some of them asking for his death, sometimes, with, name address, phone number, Google map picture of the house and pictures of his whole family. An example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TBxo2CttYY
2) The laws, civil or criminal, that were used to oppress
- Anti-racism laws in Germany and Switzerland
Judge put the Quran over German national rights
The Sharia Caliphate is set up in Germany: At the Frankfurt district court a German judge imposes the Quran on the criminal and family law. The judge refused the hardship divorce request of a woman beaten by her husband, because both partners came from the Moroccan cultural background.
3) Cases in which there was a protest or other action, and no one was arrested or convicted – that is, people got away with criticism without being oppressed.
Six Months in Prison for criticizing Ulfkotte
A German blogger who had accused the Islam critic Udo Ulfkotte on several occasions for crimes like “right-wing extremism, “racism “and” incitement against Muslims “and who had called him only because of his criticism against Islam as a” Nazi “has been sentenced to six months in prison.
Compiled by AMDG
The Spanish Counter-Jihad has not seen any relevant attack to its freedom of expression. This may surprise you, but it is not surprising: there is no real counter-jihad in Spain. This does not mean that conservative, libertarian and anti-immigration media and bloggers have not been subject to strong pressure, harassment, defamation, etc. Still, they have been targeted as right-wingers, not as counter-jihadis.
In this country report I will first refer to the Spanish legal background and then I will mention two specific cases.
Spanish legal background
The current Spanish Constitution, of 1978, includes the freedom of expression in its list of basic rights (http://noticias.juridicas.com/base_datos/Admin/constitucion.t1.html art.20, all links in Spanish unless otherwise indicated). The devil, of course, is in the details. For instance, TV and radio stations are subject to administrative permissions, because the radio spectrum has to be allocated in an orderly way. Digital TV and radio will improve the situation. In the case of TVs the licences are artificially restricted beyond technical constraints.
As far as blogging is concerned, the relevant legal framework is the LISI (http://www.boe.es/g/es/bases_datos/doc.php?coleccion=iberlex&id=2007/22440). Its article 8 includes among the restrictions to the use of the Internet:
c) The respect to the dignity of persons and the discrimination for motives of race, sex, religion, opinion, nationality, disability or any another personal or social circumstance
I do not find any sense in saying that the content of a blog or an on-line journal “discriminates”; for me, the only relevant legal question about news contents is whether they are truthful or untruthful. Wonder how this article would be interpreted if the law was applied in a court case.
There have been initiatives to curtail the freedom of expression that have gone much further. In 2004, Izquierda Unida (United Left), former communists, proposed a Statute for Professional Journalists, which would establish a list of duties and rights of “professional journalists”. It would mean the end of blogging, because only registered people could edit a blog. The proposal was utterly outrageous, but, even if rejected, it was discussed in Spanish parliament (http://www.escolar.net/wiki/index.php/Estatuto_del_periodista_profesional).
In summary, it can be stated that even if there has been no legal prosecution of counter-jihadist bloggers in Spain, there is a legal base to do it. There is not anything similar to the First Amendment.
Two recent cases
I will present two cases. The first one was a coordinated attack – big game indeed. – by the national Spanish government and the regional Catalan government to the COPE; the favourite radio chain of Spanish conservatives. The second is a report by an NGO with negligible memberships and very generous public funding: Movimiento contra la Intolerancia, Movement Against Intolerance.
The COPE under attack
In Spain, two national TVs chains are public. Moreover, each region has a local public TV broadcasting in their area. There are four major national private TV chains; three of them are left-wingers nests, including Tele5, with a decisive share by Mr. Berlusconi. Spanish radios follow a similar pattern, but in this case there is a remarkable conservative chain, the COPE. It is the second most popular radio in Spain, which has made COPE-bashing a fixed feature of progressive talk. Apart from that legitimate if biased criticism, “the chain of the bishops” – they actually own it- has been subject to legal and administrative attacks from leftist national and regional governments. I will summarise the most recent and serious one.
Catalonia boasts – among some other things- the more-than-dubious honour of being the most progressive Spanish region. As a matter of fact, they have not achieved that status; there are so many another regions competing for the award! One of those progressive measures was the setting up a Catalan Audiovisual Council (English, http://www.cac.cat/), a public centre that monitors the content of Catalan media. This is how they describe themselves:
The Catalan Audiovisual Council (CAC) is the independent authority that regulates audiovisual communication in Catalonia. Its objective is to assure that regulations applicable to suppliers of audiovisual services, both public and private, and complied with.
The CAC’s principles of action are defending freedom of speech and information, pluralism, neutrality and honesty of news, as well as free competition in the sector.
It sounds good. Actually, it sounds great, but again the devil is in the details. How can it be “independent” a centre created by politicians and managed by people appointed by politicians? Well, let us see it in action.
Catalan politicians had the intention to reform their Autonomic Statute, in order to gain additional competencies. The process to draft and approve a new Statute started in 2005. here. The COPE and the conductors of its programs (especially Jiménez Losantos) were the most active opponents in Spanish media. In the last quarter of 2005, at the crucial point of the talks for the reform, the Spanish and Catalan governments initiated a co-ordinated attack to the COPE. (http://www.almendron.com/blog/?p=130)
It was started (26 October 2005) by the Minister of Industry, now President of Catalonia. He raised the usual claims against the COPE: “stirring hate, division and confrontation”, “raising flags and digging trenches”. It should betaken into account that the Ministry of Industry is responsible for the regulation of mass media. The next day a false bomb alert (http://www.libertaddigital.com/index.php?action=desanoti&cpn=1276264014) forced the main journalist to interrupt his radio program.
On 29 October, the President of the CAC warned that they were studying the content of COPE programs (http://www.libertaddigital.com/index.php?action=desanoti&cpn=1276264196). The next day, the favourite journal of the Catalan progressive class (El Periódico) took its turn and accused Jiménez Losantos of “arsonist journalism” (http://www.libertaddigital.com/index.php?action=desanoti&cpn=1276264268). It invited companies advertising at COPE to complain and withdraw their ads. The companies received e-mails sent from official e-mail addresses of the Catalan regional government. El Pais participated also in the attacks.
Both the political right (Partido Popular) and the civil society responded to these attacks. But reprisals followed. In another region, the COPE, second radio chain in Spain got none of 10 new radio station concessions by the regional government. It was not the first time that the COPE received an outrageous treatment by a regional government. In 1999, the Catalan Government refused to renew the licences of there major COPE radio stations that have been in the air for tens of years. The decision was challenged, suspended and finally considered illegal. (http://www.libertaddigital.com/index..php?action=desanoti&cpn=1276266511)
The statements from the governments of Spain and Catalonia against the COPE continued. A delegation of the Catalan government went to the Vatican to submit a dossier on the COPE. The group was not formally received. This initiative was utterly ridiculous if we take into account that the Catalan Statute was favourable to abortion, proposed to legalise any kind of marriage arrangements (preparing for polygamy?) and had a strong laicist flavour. Would they expect that “the bishops’ chain” would be in favour of it?
In November, it was made public that the Catalan parliament was drafting an Audiovisual Law that proposes fines of up to 300.000euros and suspension in grave cases, for instance “not meeting the basic principles on the regulation of audiovisual content”. The law was strongly criticized by national journalists (http://www.periodistadigital.com/periodismo/object.php?o=259307) and international associations (http://www.cac.cat/web/informacio/index..jsp?Mg%3D%3D&Mw%3D%3D&L3dlYi9pbmRleENvbnRlbnQ%3D). It has been passed by the regional parliament, but has been brought to the Constitutional Tribunal in Spain. Its resolution is pending.
The COPE is still in the air, resisting and with an increasing audience, but this systematic harassment is tiring, and Spanish bishops may finally consider whether it is worth to keep in the air two outspoken journalists. By the way, one of them is agnostic, the other an evangelic protestant..
The Raxen Report by the Movement Against Intolerance.
The case has been summarised here (PDF, http://sosinvasion.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/el_escandalo_raxen.pdf). The Movement Against Intolerance (MCI) produces a quarterly report paid by the Ministry of Labour and the European Social Fund. The have also produced Special 2008 Report which is not actually special, but very similar to the previous ones, updating only certain point and repeating most of the material.
The report is mostly a copy paste job with no analysis. In the Special 2008 Year report they listed a number of blogs and blog aggregators accusing them of racists and extreme right-wingers. They were mentioned among neo-Nazi groups. The blogs mentioned reacted and started to investigate. The MCI manipulated then its own report, changing it without announcing the update (http://colaboracionistas.wordpress.com/2008/04/08/el-observatorio-deja-a-movimiento-contra-la-intolerancia-con-el-culo-al-aire/). It was discovered that they have received public funds for more than 3million EUR since 1995 (http://colaboracionistas.wordpress.com/2008/04/10/las-subvenciones-a-movimiento-contra-la-intolerancia-suman-mas-de-tres-millones-de-euros/). One of the parties mentioned as racist, neofascist, xenophobic, etc. has sued them (http://colaboracionistas.wordpress.com/2008/04/16/primera-demanda-contra-esteban-ibarra-y-su-asociacion/). Ironically, this is La Falange (English, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falange), a party with a fascist origin.
The debate on the report and the investigation of the “Movement Against Intolerance” is still a topical mater in the Spanish blogosphere. Probably, the effect of this report has been positive because it has prepared the Spanish blogosphere to withstand future attacks.
We can draw the following conclusions on Spain:
The Spanish Counter-Jihad has not seen any relevant attack regarding its freedom of expression, because it is made only of a small group of blogs.
Still, there is a legal base in Spain for the prosecution of the Counter-Jihad as regards the freedom of expression, and some legal initiatives point in that direction. There is not anything similar to the First Amendment.
The radio chain with the second highest audience has been legally and administratively harassed at the highest level by Spanish leftist government in the last three years. The reaction by the social society has been encouraging.
Compiled and translated by Reinhard Fomi, LN, and Baron Bodissey
Sweden is a special case. Free speech in Sweden is not generalyy enforced by legal action, but rather by the traditional and overwhelming social consensus which inhibits the airing of dissident opinions. Ostracization, bad publicity, loss of employment, and other unofficial sanctions against unorthodox expression are substitutes for judicial action.
Extra-governmental groups such as Antifa (Antifascistisk Aktion) and similar organizations act as enforcers of consensus by threatening and committing violence against prominent individuals who fail to accord with the politically correct consensus.
There are, however, some examples of legal repression:
March 2008: A man was convicted of agitation against an ethnic group (hets mot folkgrupp). During a March 2007 rally organized in the south west coast town of Ängelholm by SSU, he held a sign reading, “While Swedish girls are being group raped by immigrant gangs the SSU is fighting racism.” The court fined the man 4000 kronor ($650). The court furthermore rejected the man’s free speech argument by pointing out that he could have expressed his opinions in a manner other than wandering around the Ängelholm central square on a Saturday morning carrying an offensive sign, and that even the human rights convention has its limits.
13 June, 2007: The Burlöv politician Dahn Pettersson of the Alliance Party has been convicted of “incitement/agitation against an ethnic group” [hets mot folkgrupp].
He was sentenced to pay dagsböter, that is “fines in proportion to his daily income” to the total amount of SEK 18,000 ($2,570).
Mr. Pettersson was indicted for hets mot folkgrupp because he had written a petition to the municipal council. In the petition he argued that the large number of Kosovo Albanian immigrants to Sweden led to an increase of heroin smuggling.
Mon-judicial examples of the suppression of dissent are listed below.
3 May, 2008: Threats against journalists on the rise
Journalists in Sweden are increasingly subjected to threats and violence. Almost two in three editorial offices have been threatened, according to a new report by Reporters Without Borders.
November 2007: Post office and private delivery services refuse to deliver Sverigedemokraterna’s party newspaper.
The anti-immigrant party Sverigedemokraterna faces persistent harassment.
“The Post Office refuses to deliver the Sweden Democrats’ party paper in Svedala [outside Malmö]. The reason is that Lars Vilks’ rondellhund is pictured in the papers. The Post Office fears that the mailmen could be threatened.”
November 2007: Sverigedemokraterna members threatened with loss of union membership
“Members of the far-right Sweden Democrats should be denied trade union membership, according to a large proportion of leading union representatives.”
August 2007: Girlfriend of Sverigedemokraterna member attacked in her apartment
The girlfriend of the Martin Kinnunen, the chairman of the youth movement of Sverigedemokraterna was attacked and tied up in her apartment in Stockholm. The assault took place after a longer period of threats.
The United Kingdom
Report by Paul Weston, with additional material compiled by Aeneas
The Suppression of Freedom of Speech in Great Britain
by Paul Weston
In 1984 a British headmaster, Ray Honeyford, wrote an article for “The Salisbury Review” where he questioned the values of multiculturalism, which he deemed to be segregationist rather than “inclusive”.
Mr Honeyford, a brave, decent and completely apolitical man was driven to write the article by his belief that young ethnic children were being badly let down educationally, and that their future life chances were being sacrificed for Leftist political gain.
Mr Honeyford was chased from his job amid accusations of racism in a carefully orchestrated political alliance of the hard left coupled with various ethnic-minority spokesmen.
Whether this contributed solely to future anti-racist legislation is unclear, but it certainly played its part.
In 1986 new legislation was passed to counter the rhetoric of such men as Ray Honeyford in the form of the Public Order Act 1986, Section 17 of which clarified racial hatred as being:
“..hatred against a group of persons in Great Britain defined by reference to colour, race, nationality or ethnic or national origins.”
Section 18 clarified racist behaviour as:
“The use of words or behaviour or display of written material intended or likely to stir up racial hatred.”
The maximum penalty for any individual found guilty of contravening this act was two years imprisonment.
In 1993 a young black male called Stephen Lawrence was allegedly (legally speaking) stabbed to death by a gang of five white youths in Eltham, south London.
The case was seriously mishandled by the police which led to media hysteria and an investigation by Sir William Macpherson who subsequently published a seminal study in 1999 known as the Macpherson Report which, in addition to labelling the police as “institutionally racist” gave birth to eighteen words which have been used by the British authorities to clamp down on any speech critical of any minority group. The exact wording is as follows:
“A racial incident is one that is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person.”
In 1998 the Crime And Disorder Act 1998 extended the maximum jail sentence over and above normal sentence times if racial aggravation was used in crimes up to and including murder.
In 2006 the Racial And Religious Hatred Act 2006 was passed which classified religious hatred along the same lines as racial hatred and extended the jail sentence for transgression to seven years.
2006 also saw the introduction of the Equality Act 2006 which swept away the Commission For Racial Equality, the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Disability Rights Commission and replaced then with a single entity called the Commission For Equality And Human Rights or CEHR.
In 2007 the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill was passed, with an amendment that bought homophobic hate crime in line with the definition of racial or religious hatred, including a maximum jail sentence of seven years.
In addition to the above legislation, Britain has also seen the introduction of the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, both of which have been used to suppress freedom of speech in the UK.
Ray Honeyford was fortunate that none of the above legislation was in place when he transgressed the racial thought police in 1984. Other people have not been so lucky.
Robin Page, a television presenter, was arrested in 2002 for inciting racial hatred when he stated that people living in the countryside, and who supported fox hunting, should be granted the same rights as blacks, gays and lesbians. The police claimed they had received reports from distressed persons unknown, although it seems likely they acted on their own volition.
Fourteen-year-old schoolgirl Codie Stott was arrested over a “racial incident” in 2006, after she asked to be moved to a different discussion group where her fellow pupils actually spoke English. She was released without charge but only after spending several hours in the cells where her DNA was taken.
Much to the chagrin of the Muslim Council of Britain, Robert Kilroy-Silk was not prosecuted for inciting racial hatred after he described Muslims as suicide bombers and limb amputators in a 2004 Independent newspaper article. The police wanted to prosecute but were advised by the Crown Prosecution Service there was insufficient evidence. Despite this, Kilroy-Silk still lost his job as a television show host.
In 2006, Nick Griffin, Chairman of The British National Party was acquitted (at the second time of asking) over inciting racial hatred, after he publicly accused Islam of being a wicked and vicious faith. His acquittal, after Muslims were deemed a religion rather than a race, was the prime motivation for the religious aspect to be introduced into The Racial And Religious Hatred Act 2006.
The blogger Lionheart has now been arrested and bailed on charges of inciting racial/religious hatred. If found guilty, he faces seven years in prison. We await news of this with hope rather than certainty as to the possible prosecution. His crime? He detailed the activities of Muslim criminals in the Luton area. I have read his blog and nowhere does he call for deportation of, or violence toward, British Muslims.
A retired couple, Joe and Helen Roberts were warned by Lancashire police in 2005 that their request to display Christian literature alongside homosexual rights pamphlets at their local council offices was discriminatory and homophobic, that they were walking on eggshells and that they were almost guilty of a hate crime. Much as Lancashire police wanted them to be guilty, they would have to wait a couple of years for the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill 2007 to be enacted in order to criminalise them.
Author Lynette Burrows was cautioned by the Metropolitan Police in 2006, for suggesting that male homosexuals did not make ideal adoptive parents. This was in the build up to the introduction of the rights of homosexual males to adopt children, built into The Equality Act 2006 which was passed without the necessity of asking whether homosexual males were more likely to commit child abuse than heterosexual couples, which according to Family Research Council they overwhelmingly are. (Note: this report has been censored).
In 2005 Maya Ann Evans was arrested for reading out the names of British soldiers killed in the Iraq war whilst standing next to the Cenotaph, a memorial to the war dead close to the House of Commons. In so doing, she contravened section 132 of The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 which had purportedly been enacted to prevent terrorist attacks at the seat of British government.
The use of anti-terrorism legislation has now spread to local councils who use it to spy on essentially law abiding people who may have lied about their post code in order to obtain a place at school for their children, but was used most famously when Walter Wolfgang was detained by police under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000. His crime had been to attempt to rejoin the Labour Party Conference of 2005, having been physically ejected for daring to heckle a speaker over the war in Iraq.
What should be apparent by now is the proclivity of the of the newly politicised British police to crack down on any dissent from indigenous Britons if they voice their concerns over any matter relating to race, religion of a non-Christian bent, gender or sexuality, all of which run counter to traditional Western civilisation.
This is the culture war in all its glory. The myriad laws passed in recent years are simply there in order to stifle discussion, let alone dissent, in the Liberal/Lefts ongoing war against that which they hate – indigenous European, Christian, heterosexual families.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. Nowhere is this maxim more apparent than the approach by the police to areas where Islam is at fault and the indigenous European innocent.
No imams exposed in Channel 4′s Undercover Mosques programme have been prosecuted under any of the legislation outlined above. In fact, the West-Midlands police force attempted to prosecute Channel 4 themselves for inciting racial/religious hatred by dint of their sheer temerity in broadcasting footage of Muslims calling for the overthrow of the West and the murder of homosexuals and the infidel kuffir.
Although this article is about the UK and not Europe, it seems inevitable that we will be subsumed by Brussels when the Lisbon Treaty is ratified early in 2009, so will leave you with a quote from Terry Davis, Secretary general of the Council of Europe, in the aftermath of the brutal crack down against SIOE and Vlaams Belang in Brussels last September as to the future of free speech in Britain, or such as is left anyway:
“It is very important to remember that the freedom of assembly and expression can be restricted to protect the rights and freedoms of others, including the freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This applies to everyone in Europe including the millions of Europeans of Islamic faith, who were the main target of today’s shameful display of bigotry and intolerance.”
One cannot caveat freedom of speech. It exists or it does not. In Britain we must come to accept that it does not, and we must make every effort to ensure that in the future, it does.
Citations for the above report:
Theatre removes BNP drama teacher
A teenage schoolgirl was arrested by police for racism after refusing to sit with a group of Asian students because some of them did not speak English.