An Austrian pensioner has been sentenced to six months probation for ‘hate speech’ on social media and when a judge told him he was now a criminal the man replied, “super, very good”. The 63-year-old unnamed pensioner was sentenced in a Vienna court this week for writing posts that were considered hate speech by judges in the Austrian capital.
The man wrote on Facebook on at least one occasion to specific crimes
committed by migrants. The judge in the case claimed that the remarks
were made with hateful intent toward migrants, breaking the strict
Austrian hate speech laws, and sentenced the man to six months
probation, reports Der Standard.
Judge Stefan Romstorfer, who presided over the case, said: “There’s a
certain hatred and a certain energy behind it, which I do not like,”
when addressing the elderly man at the announcement of the verdict of
the court. The reaction of the convicted Viennese man was out of the
ordinary as he asked the judge: “Am I a criminal?” When Judge Romstorfer
replied that he was, the man nonchalantly said: “Super, very good.”
According to the prosecutor, the alleged hate posts were written this
year between February and April. A total of nine posts made on Facebook
were presented to the court. Some of the posts were in reaction to
events that involved migrants breaking the law. One post which was
written after migrants attacked Austrian police said that the migrants
cost too much money to police and that they should be taken to the zoo
and thrown in with the polar bears. He called the gang of migrants who
attacked the police a “pack of rats”.
In another post the man wrote in response to a rape that
occurred earlier this year at Vienna’s famous prater, which houses the
iconic Vienna ferris wheel. Once again the man referred to the migrants
who raped an Austrian girl as she was in the bathroom as “rats” and said
they should be killed for their actions.
Giving testimony the man told the court that he had lived next to an
asylum home in the city and his granddaughters had been harassed by
migrants. He claimed that migrants had used their thumbs to make a
throat-cutting gesture at the girls.
Hate speech violations toward migrants and convictions for doing so are on the rise in Germany and Austria. Multiple raids have been carried out by German special police on people’s homes along with hefty fines and prison sentences for people who are critical of migrants online.