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. identicon
    Call me Al, 13 Nov 2012 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re: Re: I'm confused

    Thanks for addressing my points.

    I think you'd be amazed how easy it is for a Guardianista to sound like a Daily Mail reader. Both sides are equally intolerant of certain points... and often couch their intolerance in terms of what people should not be allowed to say or do.

    The poppy is a good way to remember people. I entirely agree with you on that. It is also a good way to raise money for the connected charity. My arguement is that if someone disagrees and chooses to make a statement to that effect then their right to do so must be respected and protected. People can disagree with them all they like, they can write articles in newspapers or comment on blogs, they can discuss it with friends and criticise all day long if they wish. What they shouldn't do is arrest him.

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