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Swedish Court Convicts Pensioner for Saying Somalis Are ‘Lazy’

Luc Ravaz (R) and Aurelie Cerceau (L), defenders of Bruno Cholet, a serial rapist who operated an illegal taxi in central Paris, for the 2008 kidnapping and murder of Swedish student Susanna Zetterberg, arrive at the courtroom at the courthouse in Paris, on September 4, 2012, before the trial. Cholet, …
ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/GettyImages
THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D.

A Swedish court has convicted a 70-year-old man of “hate speech” for claiming on social media that Somalis are lazy and don’t work.

In a unanimous decision, the district court of Uddevalla handed down a guilty verdict, ordering the man to pay 60 daily fines of SEK 120, for a total of SEK 7200 (700 euros).

The court said that the man’s Facebook post, which linked to an article by Swedish public broadcaster SVT, was “derogatory” to the reputation of Somalis as a group. In his post, the man contested the article’s claim that some 20 percent of Somalis are out of work in Sweden, adding that Somalis avoid work because “they are the laziest people in this world.”

As Breitbart News reported, the pensioner was reported to police by the left-wing activist group Näthatsgranskaren, Swedish for “Network Examiner,” which boasts to have reported at least 800 people to the police.

Several pensioners have been convicted of hate speech in Sweden in recent years, including a case in 2017 in which a Gothenburg man, also in his 70s, was fined some €1,340 for calling Muslims “monkeys” on a Swedish Facebook page that had 4,000 members.

According to Swedish law, for a remark to be considered hate speech it must denigrate an entire group of people and be derogatory to the group’s reputation.

In its ruling, the district court said that the elderly man’s comments regarding the alleged laziness of Somalis cannot be perceived in any other way than as “derogatory to the Somalis’ reputation as a group.”

“It does not express any factual criticism and the purpose of it does not seem to have been to contribute to a constructive debate,” the court said.

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