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.

Reader Comments

The First Word

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Nov 2012 @ 1:23am

    This sort of thing is happening all over the world. While governments love the idea behind free speech, it's more like a concept rather than something you're allowed to exercise.

    Government doesn't want you exercising your right to free speech and it's a concept where government decides how and when it wants you to exercise that right to free speech.

    You know, the United Nations talks a good talk about human rights, free speech and human dignity but when it comes to holding every government up to those ideals, the United Nations always ends up falling flat on its face.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.