Tiden er til tankeforbrydelser

En kvinde i England arresteres for at bede en stille bøn udenfor en abortklinik

Men det er ikke første gang at tankeforbrydelser straffes i England skriver Forfatningseksperten Jonathan Turley

Last year, Nicholas Brock, 52, was convicted of a thought crime in Maidenhead, Berkshire. The neo-Nazi was given a four-year sentence for what the court called his “toxic ideology” based on the contents of the home he shared with his mother in Maidenhead, Berkshire.

While most of us find Brock’s views repellent and hateful, they were confined to his head and his room. Yet, Judge Peter Lodder QC dismissed free speech or free thought concerns with a truly Orwellian statement: “I do not sentence you for your political views, but the extremity of those views informs the assessment of dangerousness.”

Lodder lambasted Brock for holding Nazi and other hateful values:

“[i]t is clear that you are a right-wing extremist, your enthusiasm for this repulsive and toxic ideology is demonstrated by the graphic and racist iconography which you have studied and appeared to share with others…”

Even though Lodder agreed that the defendant was older, had limited mobility, and “there was no evidence of disseminating to others,” he still sent him to prison for holding extremist views.

After the sentencing Detective Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes, Head of Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE), warned others that he was going to prison because  he “showed a clear right-wing ideology with the evidence seized from his possessions during the investigation….We are committed to tackling all forms of toxic ideology which has the potential to threaten public safety and security.”

“Toxic ideology” also appears to be the target in Ireland with the recently proposed  Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences) law. It would criminalize the possession of material deemed hateful. The law is a free speech nightmare.  The law makes it a crime of possession of harmful material” as well as “condoning, denying or grossly trivialising genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes against peace.” The law expressly states the intent to combat “forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law.”

What is so striking about the law is that it allows for the prosecution of citizens for “preparing or possessing material likely to incite violence or hatred against persons on account of their protected characteristics.” That could sweep deeply into not just political but literary expression.

The expansion of such prosecutions to thought crimes is a natural extension of the anti-free speech movement that took hold of much of Europe decades ago. The decline of free speech in the United Kingdom has long been a concern for free speech advocates. A man was convicted for sending a tweet while drunk referring to dead soldiers. Another was arrested for an anti-police teeshirt. Another was arrested for calling the Irish boyfriend of his ex-girlfriend a “leprechaun.” Yet another was arrested for singing “Kung Fu Fighting.” A teenager was arrested for protesting outside of a Scientology center with a sign calling the religion a “cult.”

Once you start as a government to criminalize speech, you end up on a slippery slope of censorship. What constitutes hate speech or “malicious communications” remains a highly subjective matter and we have seen a steady expansion of prohibited terms and words and gestures.

It is easy for Americans to wave off such European prosecutions by pointing to our First Amendment. However, there is a growing movement in the United States to replicate such European laws. Indeed, Democratic leaders such as Hillary Clinton have enlisted European governments to force Twitter to censor fellow citizens. Likewise, Democratic members have pushed for a new law that could be used to crackdown specifically on right-wing groups based on their ideology.

The United Kingdom is an example of the slippery slope of speech criminalization that inevitably took them to “thought crimes,” even criminal prayers. These cases should be a wake up for all who value free speech. If such prosecutions stand, free speech literally does not have a prayer in the Western world.

Man kan også få forlænget sin fængselsstraf, hvis ikke man tiltaler folk efter deres fortrukne pronomen. Der er også rart i Norge, når man bare skal op at sove, sang Shubidua, men man skal passe på med, hvad man siger. En klassisk lebbe konstaterede nemlig, at man ikke kan være en lesbisk mand, skriver Jonathan Turley (også)

Gjevjon was put under investigation for making the comments about Norwegian activist Christine Jentoft, a transgender female that often refers to herself as a lesbian mother. On Facebook Gjevjon wrote “It’s just as impossible for men to become a lesbian as it is for men to become pregnant. Men are men regardless of their sexual fetishes.”

This is obviously protected speech in the United States. However, in many countries, it is not a criminal offense to express an opposing view on gender identity.

Jeftoft has previously brought criminal charges against those who questioned his sexual identification.

Free speech in Norway and much of Europe is in a free fall. In 2020, the country amended its penal code that added “gender identity and gender expression” as protected categories from hate speech.

Those expressing contrary views can face up to three years in jail. Not only does the law criminalize public comments, but you can receive a year in jail even for comments made in private.

I forvejen kan man ikke længere tage for givet, at det kun er kvinder, der kan være gravide, hvorfor udtrykket ‘gravide personer’ fortrækkes. Og for at tage forskud på den bølge af krænkelsesparathed vil skotsk politi stoppe med at bruge udtrykket ‘pædofil’ og i stedet indføre det mere inkluderende “person tiltrukket af mindreårige” (minor attracted people)”.