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The Ministry of Justice: Discuss the Conviction of Azhar Ahmed

This petition had 322 supporters

On Friday 14th September 2012, Azhar Ahmed of West Yorkshire was convicted of sending a "grossly offensive" message via a public electronic communications network contrary to section 127 of the Communications Act 2003. On 8th March 2012, Azhar Ahmed had posted a Facebook status objecting to the war in Afghanistan, and stating that "all soldiers should die and go to hell". The background to his case can be found here and an account of trial can be found here.

Azhar Ahmed's conviction is a clear interference with his ECHR Article 10 Rights to freedom of expression, and also flies in the face of a ruling at the High Court, London in the matter of Chambers v DPP, a ruling which was never discussed during Azhar Ahmed's trial and conviction.

Although we may find Azhar Ahmed's views disagreeable, distasteful and even "distressing" (to use Azhar Ahmed's own words given in evidence), they nevertheless are a legitimate expression of a political opinion and as such should not be subject to criminal sanction. If we aspire to an open, just and democratic society, then we cannot allow such a conviction to stand.

With this in mind, we would invite you to join us in signing the following letter expressing our dismay at Azhar Ahmed's criminal conviction.

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