The indictment of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff
by Lars Hedegaard
An analysis from a free speech perspective
Referring to the Austrian penal code's § 283, sections 1 and 2, the Public Prosecutor in Vienna has presented Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff (ESW) with a Strafantag (indictment) for having publicly "gegen eine in Österreich gesetzlich anerkannte Kirchen und Religionsgesellschaft, den Islam gehetzt" (i.e. for having "publicly incited hatred against a legally recognized church and religious community – Islam").
The indictment consists of a number of quotes transcribed from two lectures given by ESW in October and November 2009. There are altogether eight hours of tape.
I have not reviewed the tapes and therefore cannot vouch for the accuracy of the quotes adduced by the Public Prosecutor. Nor do I know whether these quotes are a fair summation of what ESW was attempting to convey.
Interestingly, no particular statement quoted by the Public Prosecutor is singled out as especially punishable, and one must therefore assume that the Public Prosecutor considers every statement quoted (some 8000 words) to be criminal under Austrian law.
This is very strange as the quotes fall into several categories including:
1) Renderings of Islamic canonical teachings in the Koran and the Hadith
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