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Condemned for posting antigypsyism messages on the forum [editar]

New case featuring Fundación Secretariado Gitano as prosecutor and in which a "condemnation for conformity" has been issued

FSG. Dpto. Igualdad y Lucha contra la discriminación

Condemned for posting antigypsyism messages on the forum
  • A trial was held 15 june in Criminal Court No. for antigypsyism hate speech. The defendant is accused of posting a series of messages dehumanising and calling for the extermination of the Roma community on the Internet forum
  • FSG filed a complaint and appeared as a prosecutor in an effort to raise awareness among Internet users about the seriousness of hate speech and the consequences it carries, both in terms of the possible legal consequences and the serious impact on the dignity of the Roma community.
  • While waiting for the full sentence, we can move forward since the defendant has recognized the facts and his responsibility. A conformance sentence has been handed down, to one year in prison, which will be suspended if the author of the messages attends anti-discrimination courses in which he can overcome his antigypsyism attitudes. He has also been fined € 540.

The trial of M.A.S.L., a resident of Ourense who was identified as the alleged author of a series of messages posted on the internet forum under the pseudonym “Los_Liadora” inciting hatred and discrimination against the Roma community, has been in Criminal Court No. 1 of Ourense.

Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG) was the entity that identified and tipped off the National Police and the Public Prosecutor's Office of a total of six messages of extreme antigypsyism hatred published in various threads on the forum, in which the user referred to the Roma community as “scum” or “the height of subhuman” and called for the “extermination”, “killing” or “genocide” of the Roma. These actions constitute a crime under Article 510.1 of the Spanish Penal Code.

Thanks to the investigation spearheaded by FSG, which acted as a prosecutor in the proceedings, the alleged perpetrator was identified and subsequently brought to trial. The defendant's counsel based its defence on the existence of a series of mental illnesses. Nevertheless, the court's medical examiner determined that “both his intellectual and volitional capacity are within the normal range”, which means that his ability to understand what he is doing and to make decisions is not impaired.

Cristina de la Serna, Director of the Department of Equality and the Fight against Discrimination, from where she coordinates the actions of the entity in the face of antigypsyism incidents and crimes, signalled that she hopes that “the trial being held today will culminate in a conviction for a crime of hate speech and that a message will be sent to citizens and Internet users that antigypsyism hate messages are criminally prosecutable and will not go unpunished”. She also explained that this case has been considered as strategic litigation for the entity, since, “as we document year after year in our reports Discrimination and the Roma Community, cases like this one are not isolated; unfortunately, they are widespread on social networks or, even more so, on Internet forums such as, where users dump this type of messaging with impunity, taking advantage of their anonymity and the lack of moderation on the part of the forums themselves”.

Fundación Secretariado Gitano also points out that these crimes cause serious harm to the Roma community: “These types of messages cause serious damage to the dignity and self-esteem of Roma people, causing feelings of anxiety, fear and being singled out. They also encourage discriminatory and hateful attitudes in the general population, which often results in other types of discriminatory incidents or even hateful aggressions directed against members of the Roma community”.