COMMENT. Nordfront has been convicted for illegal depiction of violence in relation to the publication of a news article about the Christchurch shooting. Martin Saxlind comments on the verdict.
On 12 November Örebro District Court issued its judgement against Markus Larsson, Nordfront’s former responsible publisher. Larsson was charged with hate speech for an activist report published on Nordfront, and for hate speech and illegal depiction of violence for a news article about the mosque attack in Christchurch.
The court ruled that the activist report contained hate speech and that the article about Christchurch contained illegal depiction of violence. The latter article was judged not to incite racial hatred, which was the only reasonable outcome as it was purely a news article that depicted the events without rendering any personal opinion on them.
The activist report, which is the less interesting of the two matters in this case, was clumsily worded. By this I don’t mean that it stirred up hatred against any group, but that its message was expressed in a somewhat heavy-handed and unclear way. To summarise, the article referred to “fag flags” that had been cleaned from a city in order to protect the nuclear family from the homo lobby. The report ended with the message: “Perverted paedophiles shall not be normalised!”
Are rainbow flags “fag flags”? Well, to some extent this must be regarded as correct as the “Pride movement” promote LGBTQPXYZ-people, and the second letter in the acronym stands for “gay”. Some might take offence at the use of the word “fag” [Swedish: bög] in a somewhat negative context, but at the end of the day it is an established word many homosexuals use to describe themselves.
“Cleaning” a city of fag flags should not necessarily be interpreted as an attack against homosexuality per se, as it can just as well be a general criticism of all forms of sexualisation in the public space. According to the principle “always give the benefit of the doubt”, all hate speech cases should be dismissed when a non-hateful interpretation can be identified, but instead it seems the rule of “always convict according to the absolute worst interpretation of the evidence” applies whenever a thought crime is investigated.
Wanting to protect the nuclear family from the homo lobby is definitely not hate speech. The homo lobby is a diffuse collection of activists and organisations, not a homogenous community.
I must admit that calling paedophiles “perverted” is disparaging, but the question is whether Sweden’s judicial system has really sunk to the moral depths where even paedophiles constitute a protected group for which one cannot express disdain. In some respects, it would be completely logical and consistent with how this disgraceful law is already used. The next step will presumably be for rapists, journalists, politicians and similar swine to become “groups” one is forbidden from hating.
The most interesting aspect of the verdict was our being convicted for publishing the livestream from the massacre in Christchurch. This is the first time Nordfront has been convicted for illegal depiction of violence, and there don’t appear to have been very many who have violated this law before. In the judgement, the following explanation is given for the conviction:
The court does not question that it was justified to report on the terror attack in the article. However, a comprehensive news report of the event could have been provided without publishing the perpetrator’s own film from the crime. According to the court, the publishing of the video clearly exceeds the limit of what can be regarded as justified as a part of news distribution. In a cumulative assessment of the report’s purpose, and the context in which the publishing of the film occurred, the district court does not find that the act was justifiable in the circumstances.
The district court is quite simply lying in the above emboldened sentence. Our news reporting would NOT have been “comprehensive” if we had not shown the whole video, which depicts the entire course of events in a unique way that we could not have done purely in text form. Not publishing the video would have been to deny our readers important information. Countless media outlets wrote about the terror attack, the video was spread on the internet, and many people watched it and discussed it. As usual, some also speculated as to whether it was a false flag attack, which necessitated watching the video in order to make an informed opinion on the matter. There was enormous public interest.
Our purpose in publishing the video was not to offend or shock. We always want to convey as much uncensored information as possible to our readers when we cover important news stories. The article was also filled with warnings about the contents, so those who did not want to see the video were able to avoid doing so very easily. I think that Nordfront’s editorial team and our readers are more qualified to judge what is “justified as a part of news reporting” than Örebro District Court.
One man’s democracy is another man’s “democratorship”
The judgement was also interesting because it contained long theoretical statements on the problems of curtailing freedom of speech and under which conditions Sweden could do so. Ultimately it was mostly empty words and ramblings, but in any case it’s refreshing that they at least attempted to excuse themselves and acknowledged they are restricting our freedom of speech – and that it’s not completely unproblematic.
In this case, they wanted to lock up a man who just became a father for four months because some homosexual type might decide to scour our activist reports and possibly get offended, and because we published a video that was strongly censored on the internet and many people were looking for. Örebro District Court believes this measure is “necessary in a democratic society”. I do not agree.