Flemish Politician Convicted for Racism and Discrimination in Private Groups: A Legal Battle Against Hate Speech

By Eleanor Harrison Mar26,2024
Harsh criticism of Flemish “denialist agitator” who hides hate with humor and memes

A Ghent court has convicted Flemish politician Dries Van Langenhove of inciting hatred and discrimination for his involvement in a racist group, Schild & Vrienden, that promoted far-right ideologies. He was sentenced to a one-year prison term and a fine of 16,000 euros for violating laws on racism and denialism. Additionally, he received a suspended sentence for violating the Weapons Law and his political rights were revoked for 10 years.

The court found that Van Langenhove attracted others to his racist speech and created a hostile atmosphere in society. Along with six other members of the group, he was convicted of hate speech and discriminatory behavior that targeted individuals based on their race and religion. This behavior led to harassment and abuse of individuals like Jihad Van Puymbroeck and writer Dalilla Hermans.

The case began in 2018 when a television report exposed the racist and denialist comments exchanged in the group’s private Facebook or Discord groups. The court’s decision was based on laws prohibiting denial of the Nazi genocide and acts inspired by racism and xenophobia. The judges concluded that the group had engaged in hate speech and discriminatory behavior, targeting individuals based on their race and religion.

The ruling highlights the seriousness of hate speech and discrimination even when communicated through private channels or disguised as jokes. It challenges the notion that offensive speech is protected under freedom of expression. The case serves as a reminder that hate, abuse, harassment,

By Eleanor Harrison

As a content writer at newseasoning.com, I infuse flavor into words, crafting compelling stories that captivate and inform our audience. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for creativity, I strive to create content that not only engages but also inspires. Whether I'm concocting a savory blog post or whipping up a spicy product description, I pour my heart and soul into every piece I write. Join me on this flavorful journey as we explore the tantalizing world of content creation together.

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