From the Birthplace of Democracy
While Western media and politicians routinely bemoan the lack of "democracy" in post-Soviet Russia, they are conspicuously mute about the repression of dissenting writers and scholars in the so-called "free world," of which this is but the latest example.
Thursday, 13 December 2007
ATHENS — A far-right Greek historian was sentenced to 14 months in prison Thursday for inciting racial hatred with a book that denies the Holocaust took place, court officials said.
Historian Costas Plevris appealed his sentence and was not taken into custody.
A three-member panel of judges voted 2-1 to find Plevris guilty of inciting violence and racial hatred. The court cleared three other defendants of similar charges: the publisher, the editor and a journalist at a small right-wing magazine that published extracts from the book. Greek Jewish community leaders had testified that Plevris' book The Jews: The Whole Truth has led to an increase in attacks on Jewish monuments in the country. Plevris protested to the court that his right to free speech had been violated. It was the first trial in Greece on the recently introduced incitement charges.
What impresses me is that despite almost 50 years of obscene "hate laws," repressive legislation and crushing prison sentences, and despite such episodes as David Irving being lured into a trap in Austria, there are still scholars in Europe who are willing to write and publish the truth, and to write and publish heterodox opinions on historical events.
Now, of course, we're looking at Senate Bill 1959 (formerly H.R. 1955) which will established witch-huntintg tribunals of Congresspersons who will roam the countryside here in the United States, seeking out "violent radicalization" and "domestic terrorism" in the form of words.
They can't keep the truth concealed and they can't keep dissidents down in Europe despite their laws and their prisons. They won't be able to keep it down here either.