Law/Criminal

Manipulative translation by Alt-Info about the arrest of the leaders of Britain First

20 December, 2017

On December 15, 2017, ultra-nationalist online agency Alt-Info published an article claiming that leaders of British ultra-nationalist political organization Britain First, Jayda Fransen and Paul Golding were arrested for the use of "abusive and insulting expressions" while denouncing Islam during a demonstration. Alt-Info calls Britain First, a patriotic and anti-Islamic organization, and cites The Telegraph as the primary source of information.

Alt-Info's material is manipulative and creates a perception to the reader that British law enforcement agents detained Britain First Leaders for expressing themselves in an insulting and demeaning manner. In reality, their arrest was due to their use of hate speech and Alt-Info’s translation does not match that of the original source article (Telegraph).

As The Telegraph points out, Jayda Fransen was detained in August 2017 for a speech she gave in Belfast on a rally dedicated to "Northern Ireland against terrorism". According to The Telegraph, the court has accused her of " intended or likely to stir up hatred arising from her speech". On the same case concerning the August rallies, Paul Golding, the organization's second leader was detained in addition to Fransen, and was charged with "using threatening, abusive, insulting words or behaviour".

Alt-Info’s translation

The Telegraph

“insulting and abusive expressions" used during criticism of Islam

behaviour intended or likely to stir up hatred

  [using threatening, abusive, insulting words or behaviour]

The Guardian reported that on January 14, the court liberated Fransen after paying bail and prohibited her of being closer than 500 meters near any demonstration in Northern Ireland. A police officer had objected to bail, claiming Fransen would commit similar offences to the one she was charged with if released. According to him, Francen urged citizens to "raise up and take action" against Islam. As stated in the Court’s decision, if the offense is repeated, Fransen will be brought before the court once again and shall remain in custody thereafter.

In Britain hate speech is regulated by the "Public Order Act" adopted in 1986. As stated by the law, a person who uses hate speech is considered to be guilty, in the same manner, if his or her threatening verbal or written expression or behavior could potentially cause a stirring up of hatred against a particular group.