• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

A Landmark Ruling: Flemish Politician Sentenced for Hate Speech and Denialism

BySamantha Johnson

Mar 26, 2024
Harsh criticism of Flemish “denialist agitator” who hides hate with humor and memes

A Ghent court has handed down a one-year prison sentence and a fine of 16,000 euros to Flemish politician Dries Van Langenhove for violating laws on racism and denialism. In addition, he received a suspended sentence for violating the Weapons Law and his political rights were revoked for 10 years. This punishment is considered one of the most severe, as punishments for apologizing for Nazism are usually lenient.

Van Langenhove, who is associated with the far-right party Vlaams Belang, founded a group called Schild & Vrienden, which promoted racist ideologies. The court found that he attracted others to his racist speech and created a hostile atmosphere in society. Along with six other members of the group, Van Langenhove was convicted of inciting hatred and discrimination. Vlaams Belang has defended its members, claiming that justice in Belgium is corrupt.

The case began in 2018 when a television report exposed the racist and denialist comments exchanged in the group through 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. This behavior led to harassment and abuse of individuals like Jihad Van Puymbroeck and writer Dalilla Hermans.

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, and discrimination have no place in society, regardless of how they are communicated.

By Samantha Johnson

As a dedicated content writer at newsanguinely.com, I weave words into compelling stories that captivate and inform our readers. With a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail, I craft engaging articles that shed light on the latest news and trends. When I'm not typing away at my keyboard, you can find me exploring new ideas, researching diverse topics, and striving to deliver content that resonates with our audience. Join me on this journey as we uncover the stories that matter most.

Leave a Reply