Man convicted of sending racist hate massages after young man’s death in terror attack

A court has convicted a man of inciting racial hatred. The posted messages containing racists slurs about a young man from Limburg that was killed in a terrorist attack at a discotheque in the Turkish city of Istanbul on 1 January last year. The man has been sentenced to 6 months in prison and a fine of 4,000 euro.  

Hij krijgt daarvoor zes maanden effectieve gevangenisstraf en een boete van 4.000 euro. News of the conviction comes from the Inter-Federal Centre for Equal Opportunities Unia that was a civil party in the case.

24-year-old Mehmet Kerim Akyil, a Fleming of Turkish descent from the Limburg municipality of Houthalen-Helchteren, was in the Reina nightclub in Istanbul on 1 January 2017 was terrorist carried out an attack. While the family received many message of sympathy about the Mehmet’s death there were also a number of highly hurtful and racist comments that were posted on Facebook.    

The man that has been convicted wrote “One less Turk”, “He’s not a Belgian” and “many more to go I hope”.  

Although, it was for these posts that he was prosecuted Unia says that he had made many others of an equally racist nature.

"It became clear that man convicted often spread hatred and didn’t believe there was anything wrong in him doing so. People with a migration background were his targets”.

"This verdict is a reminder to every Facebook-user that there is no difference between spreading hate on the streets and systematically sending messages containing racial hatred on Facebook. Both are illegal”.     

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