Wednesday 30 January 2008

British blogger 'Lionheart' due to be arrested

The blogger 'Lionheart' is due to be arrested by Bedfordshire Police on suspicion of stirring up racial hatred.

The blog US or Them has published an email sent to Lionheart (Mr Paul Ray) by PC Ian Holden, an officer in the Hate Crime Unit. In the email PC Holden says:

'The offence that I need to arrest you for is “Stir up Racial Hatred
by displaying written material” contrary to sections 18(1) and 27(3) of the Public Order Act 1986.'

Describing himself as an 'unapologetic Christian', Mr Ray's blog contains outspoken criticisms of Islam and the British government's response to terrorist activity.

Mr Ray has been ordered to appear at Greyfriars Police Station on the 19th February. He is currently in the United States and is weighing up whether to return to the UK to face police questioning.

A spokesperson for Bedfordshire Police confirmed that Lionheart is due to be arrested under the Public Order Act.

When asked what would happen if Lionheart refused to report to the police on the 19th February she replied that 'there are no standard procedures, it depends on the individual circumstances surrounding the investigation'.

The blogger has enlisted the help of lawyer Anthony Bennett, a former member of Veritas, a right wing political party.

In a comment on the Lionheart blog, Mr Bennett warns the Bedfordshire Police to
'be very careful', indicating that he is willing to complain to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) about the case.

Lionheart has found support from the bloggers in both the UK and the US who believe his right to freedom of speech is being violated. Mr Ray argues that he is simply 'telling people what is happening to my community and country'.


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