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Coronavirus skeptical Engel found guilty of incitement to break the law

Gavel in court.

Photo: Depositphotos

Willem Engel is skeptical of coronavirus convicted He incited people to participate in prohibited demonstrations and was sentenced to a one-month suspended prison sentence.

The founder of protest group Viruswaarheid has been charged with posting six social media messages inciting people to break the law during coronavirus restrictions. sought a suspended sentence of imprisonment.

But in an hour-long verdict in Rotterdam, a judge found Engel guilty of inciting one post and not guilty in another. He discovers that Engel instigated people into attending the conference. banned demo In a Facebook live stream in The Hague in June 2020.

‘Before [the messages] It was shared and discussed with a group of 10 legal experts,” the judge said. “The words were consciously chosen…and deliberately published.”

Unusually, the judge said he publishes a post with the verdict to help the public better understand the verdict.

Engel, a 45-year-old dance teacher from Rotterdam, was acquitted of sedition charges for another five messages. The judge said she “broke moral boundaries” by making an “ugly” appeal to people to call the care home that closed her door, which was not illegal.

“The right to demonstrate is a very important constitutional right,” the judge added. “Demonstrations may be restricted or banned only in special cases where other interests weigh more heavily. We can’t… when we are severely restricting civil liberties like the corona crisis, the desire to protest is even greater, and the need to exercise its fundamentals is even more pressing.

He also said Engel’s right to free speech must be weighed against the dangers of growing social unrest and mass groupings.The context of coronavirus.

Judge, who handed out a two-year suspended prison sentence, stops Mr. Engel from doing the same thing again, making it clear to others that ‘undermining local governments is unacceptable’ He said that was his purpose.

Engel lost his appeal for retrial earlier this week and is set to be pursued in court. his arrest There was a “political motive”. The prosecution opened its investigation in January 2022. After 22,000 people signed a joint complaint denouncing sedition, intimidation, medical misinformation and fraud.

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2023/01/coronavirus-sceptic-engel-found-guilty-of-incitement-to-break-the-law/ Coronavirus skeptical Engel found guilty of incitement to break the law

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