French courts have scrapped a law that would see those who visit pro-Jihad websites fined or put in in prison saying that such laws would damage the freedom of communication.
The law, which criminalises the act of visiting websites liked to radical Islamic terrorist groups like the Islamic State would have seen violators sentenced to two years in prison and a fine of €30,000. The ruling by the Constitutional Council to declare the legislation unconstitutional is the second time the law has been repealed this year L’Express reports.
The law had previously been rejected in February and reinstated into law 18 days after the court ruling after the text had been modified by the French parliament.
The new text read that those convicted of visiting pro-terror website would face, “two years in prison and 30 000 euros fine for the act of visiting in the usual way, without legitimate reason, a service of communication to the public online apologizing for or provoking the commission of acts of terrorism and involving images or representations of willful attacks on life.”
The constitutional judges declared that the law was not necessary claiming other existing anti-terror laws were enough and that it “undermined the freedom of communication.”
“The visiting [of the websites] must be accompanied by the manifestation of adherence to the ideology expressed on the sites visited, this visiting and this event are not likely to establish by themselves the existence of a will to commit terrorist acts,” they added.
Many young radicalised Muslims, in particular, have been shown to have been radicalised online including German teen Linda Wurzel who ran away to join ISIS in Iraq and was arrested by Iraqi forces liberating ISIS-held territory in July.
Number of Violent Jihadists in Germany up 64 Per Cent to over 1,800https://t.co/wsE5FmB975
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 6, 2017
The success of ISIS and other terror group’s online propaganda efforts have contributed toward the massive rise of violent extremists in countries like Germany where the number has increased by 64 percent since last year.