Indian Origin Man Given 20 Months Jail Term In UK For Threatening To 'Slit Muslim Throats' On Twitter
On June 25, a court in Birmingham, UK, sentenced an Indian-origin British man to 20 months in jail for posting Islamophobic rants on Twitter in the wake of the terrorist attack in Ariana Grande’s concert last year in Manchester.
This new development could set a new precedence in tackling the problem of Islamophobia or hate crimes on social media as the 31-year-old’s sentencing should be a warning to anyone who posts inflammatory messages, reported Hindustan Times.
The West Midlands Police tweeted:
A #Birmingham man has been convicted of stirring up racial hatred with a string of Islamaphobic tweets − as we warn anyone who posts inflammatory messages will risk arrest for committing hate crimes. Read more here: https://t.co/X6YHTLPPgk pic.twitter.com/KOiafUunqt
— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) June 25, 2018
Stern Action Against Islamophobia On Social Media
As reported by the daily, West Midlands Police Superintendent Mat Shaer said, “This case saw the sustained release of offensive, threatening material aimed at Muslim and Pakistani communities – it left people fearing some of the threats could be carried out by him or his Twitter followers”.
“The law is careful to try and not penalise expression of opinion, even in strong and possibly offensive terms. But Chand’s tweets were a much baser expression of animosity towards a section of society and were totally unacceptable,” he added.
What Did He Do?
Rhodenne Chand, from Kingstanding, posted 32 tweets over the span of a few days after the terror attack at Ariana Grande’s concert at Manchester Arena in May 2017. According to the West Midlands Police’s press release, Chand’s tweets encouraged attacks on mosques and claimed that he wanted to “slit a Muslim’s throat”. His rant on Twitter was soon reported to the police and Chand was arrested in May 2017.
Following his arrest, the now convicted man confessed to his crimes and stated that he was “venting” in the aftermath of the Manchester and London Borough Market terror attacks and that he had stopped using Twitter.
He admitted to the offence at the Birmingham Crown Court on June 25, where he was sentenced to 20 months in jail. Reportedly, Chand was charged with publishing threatening, abusive or insulting material intended to stir up racial hatred.
However, this incident is not the first instance where the police in Britain took stern action against a situation like this. In September 2017, another British man was sentenced to 12 months in prison who had called for Muslims’ killings following the terror attack in Manchester.