Picture Credit: CEN/KAV/Votava
A racist troll who abused Austria’s official ‘New Year’s baby’ on a right-wing forum because the infant was born to a Muslim family has been jailed for two months.
The authorities in the Austrian capital Vienna happily announced the birth of Asel as the country’s official New Year’s baby on 1st January 2018.
They shared pictures of Asel with her parents and the team of doctors who delivered her at 00.47am, making her the country’s first baby of the year.
Online trolls wrote offensive comments about the Muslim family because the mum was pictured wearing a headscarf in the photographs.
A 58-year-old man from Vienna has now been sentenced for the hateful remarks he made online.
According to Judge Stefan Apostol, some of the defendant’s remarks qualified as incitement to hatred and he was sentenced to two months in prison.
Judge Apostol said: “You wrote ‘wherever you look, just more dirt’ on a right-wing forum. The immediate posts before even called for violence.”
The man, who has not been named due to privacy reasons, said that he simply shared his opinion after reading the article about Asel.
He said: “I found the article unfair and I just gave my opinion.”
The man was also handed a further 13-month suspended sentence and was instructed to attend the course ‘Dialogue Instead of Hate’.
According to local media, a 48-year-old woman had also been previously sentenced for hateful remarks towards baby Asel.
She wrote on the internet that the Muslim tot was a “parasitic and inferior person” and was sentenced to three months in prison with a further six months suspended.
Netizens’ comments like “the next terrorist is born” and “she is wearing a headscarf, does she have cancer?” were among the least hurtful remarks hurled at the family.
Austrian NGO Netpeace said the hateful comments are proof that online abuse is growing out of control.
A spokesperson said: “Normally, the birth of a child should be a reason for joy.”
The NGO also said it is remarkable that so many people are brazenly posting such comments under their real name instead of using an alias.
Netpeace has called for social media companies and other organisations to moderate their sites better and remove abusive messages as quickly as possible.