Varg Vikernes to Face Trial in France for “Inciting Racial Hatred and Exalting War Crimes”
So, uh, remember how Varg Vikernes and his wife, Marie Cachet, were arrested in France in July on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack, but then they were released and Vikernes was all “Oh I’m gonna sue those froggy bastards!!!”?
Yeah, well, lawsuit or no lawsuit, it looks like the French government isn’t done trying to put Vikernes behind bars just yet.
The International Business Times reports that Vikernes “is expected to go on trial in Paris on charges of inciting racial hatred and exalting war crimes on the Internet” as a result of “postings on his blog which prosecutors say were anti-Semitic and xenophobic.” Although France is generally pretty liberal when it comes to freedom of speech, such postings would be violations of The Pleven Act of 1972, which, according to Wikipedia, “prohibits incitement to hatred, discrimination, slander and racial insults,” and The Gayssot Act of 1990, which “prohibits any racist, anti-Semitic, or xenophobic activities, including Holocaust denial.”
There’s no word on whether or not Cachet will also stand trial.
This is the kind of news which makes me feel a big ol’ ball of conflict in my belly: on the one hand, I really loathe Vikernes, who is inarguably a bigot. On the other hand, my love of free speech prohibits me from believing in sending anyone to jail just for posting hateful rhetoric on the internet. On the other other hand, free speech doesn’t mean you can yell “FIRE!” in a crowded place, and if Vikernes really was trying to incite people to violence with his words, maybe that should be punishable. And his postings may very well be in violation of French law, which, y’know, you probably shouldn’t violate if you’re living in France.
I guess what I’m saying is, I hate Vikernes, but I still haven’t decided how I feel about this. Let me sleep on it, okay?
In the meantime, share your thoughts in the comments section below. Please keep in mind that inciting people to listen to Emmure is a violation of The Rosenberg Act of 2007, and is consequently punishable by up to a lifetime of ridicule from people with an IQ in the triple digits.