Aug 07

Austrian Pensioner Sentenced For ‘Hate Speech’ Online:

An Austrian pensioner has been sentenced to six months probation for ‘hate speech’ on social media and when a judge told him he was now a criminal the man replied, “super, very good”.

The 63-year-old unnamed pensioner was sentenced in a Vienna court this week for writing posts that were considered hate speech by judges in the Austrian capital.

The man wrote on Facebook on at least one occasion to specific crimes committed by migrants. The judge in the case claimed that the remarks were made with hateful intent toward migrants, breaking the strict Austrian hate speech laws, and sentenced the man to six months probation, reports Der Standard.

Judge Stefan Romstorfer, who presided over the case, said: “There’s a certain hatred and a certain energy behind it, which I do not like,” when addressing the elderly man at the announcement of the verdict of the court. The reaction of the convicted Viennese man was out of the ordinary as he asked the judge: “Am I a criminal?” When Judge Romstorfer replied that he was, the man nonchalantly said: “Super, very good.”

According to the prosecutor, the alleged hate posts were written this year between February and April. A total of nine posts made on Facebook were presented to the court. Some of the posts were in reaction to events that involved migrants breaking the law. One post which was written after migrants attacked Austrian police said that the migrants cost too much money to police and that they should be taken to the zoo and thrown in with the polar bears. He called the gang of migrants who attacked the police a “pack of rats”.

In another post the man wrote in response to a rape that occurred earlier this year at Vienna’s famous prater, which houses the iconic Vienna ferris wheel. Once again the man referred to the migrants who raped an Austrian girl as she was in the bathroom as “rats” and said they should be killed for their actions.

Giving testimony the man told the court that he had lived next to an asylum home in the city and his granddaughters had been harassed by migrants. He claimed that migrants had used their thumbs to make a throat-cutting gesture at the girls.

Hate speech violations toward migrants and convictions for doing so are on the rise in Germany and Austria.  Multiple raids have been carried out by German special police on people’s homes along with hefty fines and prison sentences for people who are critical of migrants online.

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