The diplomat, 47-year-old Rowan Laxton, allegedly shouted “f***ing Israelis, f***ing Jews” while watching television reports of the Israeli attack on Gaza last month.
He is also alleged to have said that Israeli soldiers should be “wiped off the face of the Earth” during the rant at the London Business School gym near Regents Park on January 27. […]
After a complaint from a member of the public, Mr Laxton was arrested for inciting religious hatred – which can carry a seven-year prison term – and bailed to reappear at a central London police station at the end of March.
Here’s the full report.
The wisdom of having a law directed against incitement of racial hatred is questionable; the particular application here borders on the absurd. Or perhaps I am merely arguing from a strictly American viewpoint — courts here have repeatedly ruled that “incitement” must always carry an element of imminence — which might not apply in the land of the Queen.
Anyway, the point is, a person would never be prosecuted for a racial tirade in the US. Reminds me that in many ways, the US still offers free-speech protection far superior to anywhere else. I should do some research on Switzerland law before I move there.
Also read: My short post comparing free-speech protections in some selected countries.
Update: I should add that the free speech protections in this country exist primarily because they are constitutionally granted. If the present public had its way, it would certainly get diluted, as it has in so many other places.