A British man was fined more than $480 for a Facebook comment he made wishing death upon soldiers.
People gassin about the deaths of Soldiers! What about the innocent familys who have been brutally killed. The women who have been raped. The children who have been sliced up! Your enemy’s were the Taliban not innocent harmful familys (sic). All soldiers should DIE & go to HELL! THE LOWLIFE F****N SCUM!
Ahmed, of Ravensthorpe, West Yorkshire, was fined £300 ($480) by the Huddersfield Magistrates Court and ordered to complete 240 hours of community service.
The comment was posted on Facebook on March 8, two days after six British soldiers were killed “in the deadliest single attack on British forces in Afghanistan since 2001,” the BBC reported. Ahmed quickly deleted it after he saw the controversy it was starting around the country.
In court, District Judge Jane Goodwin said Ahmed did have the right to express his opinions freely on Facebook but that this particular comment was "beyond the pale of what's tolerable in our society.”
“You posted the message in response to tributes and messages of sympathy. You knew at the time that this was an emotive and sensitive issue,” Goodwin said, according to the Yorkshire Post. “With freedom of speech comes responsibility. On March 8 you failed to live up to that responsibility.”
The United Kingdom abides by the Human Rights Act of 1998 which states in Article 10 that all persons have the “right to freedom of expression” which are “subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society.” These restrictions include speech that incites violence or public disorder.
Photo by marmaduk/Flickr