Indian-Origin Man in UK Jailed for Posting Anti-Islam Tweets
Rhodenne Chand was found guilty of stirring up racial hatred online and sentenced to 20 months in prison by the Birmingham Crown Court.
A Birmingham resident of Indian origin has been sentenced to jail for publishing anti-Muslim posts on the social media, PTI reported. Rhodenne Chand was found guilty of stirring up racial hatred online and sentenced to 20 months in prison by the Birmingham Crown Court on June 25.
Chand, 31, from Kingstanding, posted 32 tweets over a few days following the Manchester Arena and London Borough terror attacks last May. He admitted to publishing threatening, abusive or insulting material intended to stir up racial hatred, the BBC reported.
Chand’s posts on social media encouraged physical violence and attacks on Muslims and mosques. In one of the tweets, he said he wanted to “slit a Muslim’s throat,” according to the police statement.
West Midlands Police said the court ruling should serve as a warning to anyone a committing hate crime online.
“This case saw the sustained release of offensive, threatening material aimed at Muslim and Pakistani communities – it left people fearing some of the threats could be carried out by him or his Twitter followers,” Police Superintendent Mat Shaer said in a statement.
“The law is careful to try and not penalise expression of opinion, even in strong and possibly offensive terms. But Chand’s tweets were a much baser expression of animosity towards a section of society and were totally unacceptable,” he added. “We take hate crime very seriously and anyone found to be stirring up hatred on the grounds of race, religion, sexuality, or disability could find themselves in court and facing a criminal conviction.”
Chand was arrested on June 17 last year, after a public member reported the Twitter rant to the police. Chand later said that he felt disgusted at himself for writing the posts, the police statement said. He told the police that he was “venting” in the aftermath of the terror attacks and had stopped using Twitter.
However, a specialist prosecutor, who assessed the case, determined that the posts showed intent to stir up racial and religious hatred and that such “violent rhetoric can cause considerable harm once it is in the public domain.”
Chand was charged with publishing threatening, abusive or insulting material intended to stir up racial hatred.