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On Friday 14th September Azhar Ahmed was found guilty of 'Improper use of public electronic communications network' under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003. As SchNEWS reported, in March Azhar had posted a Facebook update criticising lack of publicity received by civilian deaths compared to the deaths of British soldiers. While the tone and some of the wording of the post could (at best) be described as undiplomatic, Azhar had never intended people outside of his 'friends' list to see it.
West Yorks Police originally charged Azhar with a much more serious charge – racially-aggravated harassment. At the first court appearance, realising this charge wouldn't stick, the CPS decided on a prosecution under the relatively obscure Communications Act. The act criminalises any messages that are “grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character”, meaning a large proportion of all status updates and Tweets could be covered.
The case probably would've been quietly dropped had it not been the for the amount of right-wing attention it had received. Unsurprisingly the champions of free speech, the English Defence League (EDL), were waiting outside of court to harass Azhar even more. Despite the fact that their own Facebook pages are covered in racist, hate filled messages they claim that the judicial system favours Muslims and ethnic minorities. Meanwhile – in the real world – a Muslim teenager now has a criminal record and has become a hate figure for the far right merely for sharing his opinion with friends. Sentencing is due in October.
Hundreds of anti-capitalistas confront an overwhelming police presence in London as part of a pre-emptive strike against the G8 summit
French anti-fascist murdered in street brawl
Ukip leader Nigel Farage attended Hove town hall as part of his speaking tour of the UK. At short notice scores gathered to protest against his right wing agenda.
BNP march outside parliament stuffed by badger/antifa alliance.
The English Defence League couldn't have hoped for a better recruiting sergeant than the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich last week.
Russian anti-fascist unfairly imprisoned under Putin's new house rules.
More updates from Calais No Borders Network
Sudanese refugees and supporters protest in London to highlight the 10 year anniversary of the conflict which ripped apart their regions.