A UK law society has stepped up its pursuit of the Sun and its ‘Nazi propaganda’ spouting columnist Katie Hopkins over alleged anti-migrant hate speech, referring both to a powerful international court usually reserved for war criminals.
The Society of Black Lawyers, which originally reported the column written by Hopkins and published by the Sun just hours before 800 migrants drowned in the Mediterranean, has referred the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The SBL’s efforts come after UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said the column – in which Hopkins referred to migrants as “cockroaches” – recalled Europe’s darkest days of fascist hate speech and “Nazi propaganda.”
“The case is an exceptionally strong one as the incitement of racial hatred in Hopkins’ unfounded rant illustrated her xenophobic views on the issue surrounding migrants in general,” SBL committee member Shireen Khan told RT.
“This is further portrayed from the numerous articles that are published by the Sun newspaper that are anti-immigrant and majority of the time simply untrue.”
Khan is confident the ICC, which is best known for investigating atrocities in the Balkans and Africa, will take SBL’s referral very seriously.
“I believe that the ICC will take up this case fully as they have a duty to investigate such matters especially the seriousness of this case, which is further emphasized by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ endorsement of our report.
“There is also a strong evidential basis on which SBL have brought this claim. It is quite a sad reality that [the] majority of the time racist abuse is unreported as a crime and secondly is hidden behind the ideas surrounding freedom of speech.”
Khan said the legitimization of anti-immigrant rhetoric under the banner of free speech was a scourge that had become all too common.
She pointed out that Hopkins’ controversial views proved infectious in some quarters, saying they were almost immediately echoed on LBC radio.
“Katie Hopkins’ column was published in the paper but it was then echoed in a viscous, xenophobic and racist tirade on radio, which led to exposure to further parts of society who may be disillusioned in thinking that immigrants are the cause of all destruction our country is facing.
“This has led to some of the most vulnerable people in the world being turned away from the support that they are entitled to under international law. These migrants trying to come to the EU are fleeing persecution, war and death.”
“Immigrants do not deserve to be the scapegoat of this country’s problems and it’s about time we stopped making them it.”
She blasted reactionary anti-immigrant elements within UK politics, arguing they were to blame for creating the political space in which such views could be aired without due criticism.