Swedish Court Sentences Barbaros Leylani for Anti-Armenian Hate Speech

(News.am) – The Stockholm District Court on Wednesday made a formal judgment on the case of former Deputy Chairman of the Turkish National Association of Sweden, Barbaros Leylani, who had made several xenophobic and anti-Armenian statements containing clear expressions of incitement to violence, hatred, and racial discrimination, at a demonstration of the Azerbaijani, Turkish, and Turkmen communities of Sweden, in capital city Stockholm on April 9.

Pursuant to Chapter 16 Section 8(2) of the Penal Code of Sweden, the court found Leylani guilty of aggravated criminal agitation and hate speech against an ethnic group, and sentenced him to a two-year suspended prison term and a fine.

At the earlier trial on November 30, the prosecutor had motioned to charge Leylani with a suspended sentence and a fine, with explanation that his statements contained clear incitement to violence against a specific ethnic group, and which was made publicly in downtown Stockholm.

The attorney, however, had motioned the court to impose only a fine, claiming that Leylani was in an unstable mental condition when making these statements, he had been using medicine, and his respective remarks were delivered without prior preparation.

The court adjudicated to fully grant the prosecutor’s motion, and deemed these racist and anti-Armenian statements of Barbaros Leylani as a criminal offense.

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Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.
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