We have yet another example of how free speech is being eviscerated in Europe through an assortment of different legal standards. An unnamed 45-year-old Swiss man is an example of how the defamation laws can have the same impact on free speech. He was convicted of defamation after simply “liking” posts on Facebook that said bad things about Erwin Kessler, the leader of Swiss vegan group Vereins gegen Tierfabriken.
The posting accused Keesler of being a racist, an anti-Semite and a neo-Nazi. By liking the posting, Keesler accused the man of repeating the defamatory information. Apparently, Keesler is suing a variety of people over the posts.
The court described the defendant’s actions as “an affront to [Kessler’s] honour”and imposed a conditional fine of 4,000 Swiss francs (£3,200).
Now here is the irony (and chilling) part. Kessler was convicted under Switzerland’s anti-racism law in 1998. His conviction was based comparing shechita, a Jewish religious method of slaughtering animals to Nazi practices. Yet, as the victim of speech codes and criminalization, Kessler has now pursued others to punish them for their opinions. It sums up the free speech disaster in Europe perfectly.