UK Looking To Cement Its New Anti-Free Speech Reputation By Arresting Man For Posting Photo Of A Burning Poppy

from the making-a-mockery-of-free-speech dept

Lately, we've noted a string of questionable prosecutions in the UK over statements made by people on social networks. These posts may have been in poor taste, but hardly seemed like the sort of thing that ought to be criminal. While UK prosecutors are finally admitting that perhaps they need to rethink speech online, it apparently hasn't stopped these kinds of arrests and prosecutions. Police, over the weekend, arrested someone for posting an image of a burning poppy. The poppy is seen as a memorial sign for those who died in battle, and the image was posted on "Remembrance Sunday." While some might say this in poor taste, it certainly seems like a legitimate form of political protest... but apparently not to law enforcement in the UK:
"A man from Aylesham has tonight been arrested on suspicion of malicious telecommunications," Kent police said in a statement after the arrest. "This follows a posting on a social network site of a burning poppy. He is currently in police custody awaiting interview."
The article notes that free speech advocates in the UK are speaking out in response to this, pointing out how ridiculous it is -- and noting that part of the reason why soldiers fought wars for the UK was to provide freedoms like the ability to express their views on things like war.

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  1. icon
    amillionbytes (profile), 13 Nov 2012 @ 7:03am

    Re: Re: I'm confused

    No point trying to be made about charity losing out or not; simply that I don't believe "poppies" are in and of themselves a negative symbol. To clarify, I do not believe wearing poppies ought to be done to say war was right, or that we should have more wars so we can sell more poppies.

    And agreed, if a guy wants to burn a plastic / paper poppy, it's his property and so be it.

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