Ex-Parliamentarian Sentenced to Year in Prison in Belgium Over Group Chat 'Hate Speech' | 13 March 2024 | Court rules group chat “jokes” were actually "Nazi ideology...white supremacy" hate speech, and that a group chat constitutes a public space, sentencing Flemish former parliamentarian to prison. The Ghent Criminal Court determined that former Parliamentarian Dries Van Langenhove "was infatuated with Nazi ideas" and "wanted to undermine democratic society," while sentencing him to a year in prison, barring him from holding public office for 10 years, and ordering him to pay a fine of 16,000 euros ($17,500). The founder and leader of the Flemish nationalist youth organization Schild & Vrienden, which advocates for independence for the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders to break away from the rest of Belgium, was reported in 2018 by public broadcaster VRT to have been involved in a Facebook group that shared alleged racist memes and messages as well as expressing sympathy for Nazi ideology.

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