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Author Alain Bonnet Sentenced To 60 Days In Jail By Swiss Court For Calling Journalist a “Fat Lesbian”

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A verdict handed down by a Swiss court recently has made headlines for its implications surrounding free speech and the court’s stance on what it deemed to be a crime.

French-Swiss writer Alain Bonnet, known more widely as Alain Soral, has been sentenced to 60 days in jail because of his remarks, referring to a journalist as a “fat lesbian.” Notably, his comments directed against Catherine Macherel, a correspondent for the estimable Swiss dailies, Tribune de Geneve and 24 Heures, were made in a Facebook video.

Soral, while criticizing Macherel’s work, went on to designate her as being “unhinged.” This was recounted by the Switzerland’s public broadcaster, RTS, and stirred up considerable legal attention in the country.

His conviction has generated much talk concerning censorship and the rights of free speech.

Prominent Lesbian activist, Murial Waeger, hailed this legal decision as a breakthrough moment for the rights of LGBTQI individuals as well as justice in Switzerland. “The conviction of Alain Soral is a strong signal that homophobic hatred cannot be tolerated in our society,” she concluded.

The writer’s conviction forces him to pay his legal expenses and fines amounting to several thousands of Swiss francs, alongside his incarceration time. As per the lawyer representing Soral, Pascal Junod, this was a conviction for a “crime of opinion.”

According to Junod, Soral would appeal against this verdict to the Swiss federal court and, if required, to the far-reaching European Court of Human Rights.

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