A judge in Scotland said the video of a pug raising its paw to a Nazi phrase “contained menacing, anti-Semitic and racist material.” The man responsible said he had intended the video to be a joke.
A Scottish court fined a 29-year-old man 800 pounds ($1,200, €900) on Monday for posting a viral video of his girlfriend’s dog responding to Nazi phrases and commands.
Read more: Man dressed as Hitler arrested in Austria
Meechan posted the two-and-a-half-minute long video of the pug, whose name is Buddha, in April 2016 under the title “M8 Yer Dugs A Naazi” (“Mate, your dog’s a Nazi”).
In the video, Meechan:
- repeatedly asks the dog variations on the phrase: “D’ye wannae gas the Jews, son?”
- gets the dog to raise its front paw upon the command “Sieg Heil.”
- has the dog watching a video of a Nazi rally in the German city of Nuremburg.
‘Anti-Semitic and racist’
Meechan, who said the video was a joke, was arrested shortly after posting the video and convicted in March for posting “grossly offensive or threatening” messages online.
On Monday, judge Derek O’Carroll handed down the 800 pound fine after saying the video “was grossly offensive and contained menacing, anti-Semitic and racist material.”
“A racist joke or a grossly offensive video does not lose its racist or grossly offensive quality merely because the maker asserts he only wanted to get a laugh,” he added.
‘I’m not a Nazi, but my dog is’
Popular British comedian Ricky Gervais and a former leader of the far-right English Defense League (EDL) had supported Meechan during the trial.
Following Meechan’s conviction in March, Gervais wrote on Twitter: “If you don’t believe in a person’s right to say things that you might find “grossly offensive”, then you don’t believe in Freedom of Speech.”
Meechan, who is better known by his online social media pseudonym “Count Dankula,” wrote in his Twitter account description: “I’m not a Nazi, but my dog is.”
Ricky Gervais – @rickygervais
A man has been convicted in a UK court of making a joke that was deemed “grossly offensive”. If you don’t believe in a person’s right to say things that you might find “grossly offensive”, then you don’t believe in Freedom of Speech.