Home Europe Elon Musk wades in on Belgian far-right figure’s prison sentence

Elon Musk wades in on Belgian far-right figure’s prison sentence

by editor

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk appeared to row in behind a Belgian far-right leader convicted of inciting violence and denying the Holocaust on Tuesday.

The Ghent criminal court sentenced Dries Van Langenhove, the founder of the Schild & Vrienden Flemish-nationalist far-right youth movement, to a year in prison and a €16,000 fine, with a judge finding he “revelled in Nazi ideas.” Van Langenhove also received a 10-month suspended prison sentence for violating a local gun law.

The case revolved around racist, antisemitic and misogynistic memes shared by members of the Schild & Vrienden in private online trashposting groups, which were later exposed by the Flemish broadcaster VRT.

X owner Musk first retweeted a social media post by Dutch far-right activist Eva Vlaardingerbroek, who slammed Van Langenhove’s conviction as “full blown tyranny,” writing “Whoa” in a post to his 176.4 million followers.

Van Langenhove, who sat in Belgium’s federal parliament from 2019-2023 as an independent member in the far-right Vlaams Belang political group, posted a sample of the racist memes shared by Schild & Vrienden members, while seeking to raise funds to pay his court-imposed fine.

Responding to Van Langenhove’s X post, Musk said: “Someone else sent this meme in a group chat and you were given a prison sentence?”

“Yes,” Van Langenhove replied, without mentioning he had also been convicted of various other charges.

Belgian State Secretary for Economic Recovery and Strategic Investments Thomas Dermine responded to Musk, saying: “In Belgium, racism is not an opinion. It is a crime.”

Source link

Related Posts