Imprisonment for deniers

This piece in Daily Maverick argues that Kallie Kriel from AfriForum should be imprisoned for denying that apartheid was a crime against humanity. Apartheid denialism must be punishable with imprisonmen... It is an asshole opinion (Kriel’s and by extension, AfriForum), no doubt about that, but isn’t this just his opinion? Were people not stoned in the middle ages because of opinions? How to show Kriel the error of his way I don’t know, but imprisonment for ideas is a slippery slope. I do not support the AfriForum crowd but I think this is going too far. What do you think?

This is the everlasting indictment of humanity of which we will never cleanse ourselves.

It is folly to believe people will ever stop being fucking moronic asshats.

It reminds me of the law in Germany according to which Holocaust denial is a crime. And a slippery slope it is; before you know what has happened, you become precisely the thing you fought against so hard.

Afriforum will never again have the kind of political power that would render their opinions potentially dangerous. So what if Kallie think apartheid wasn’t a crime, or even if he thinks it was a good thing, or even if he thinks black folks are all a bunch of retards? It’s a bit like watching a little pit yorkie yap at a rottweiler. Who the fuck cares what he thinks - he doesn’t have any power to enforce any of his ideas.

I am more worried about entities that do have such power instituting laws that will violently impose ideas on other people.

This week a UK citizen was Jailed for reporting on a “no reporting” trial and then all reporting on his arrest was banned. If you read the article you’ll see that initially the ban on reporting just fuelled a massive fire about what exactly he had been jailed for. Social media went bonkers… Some speculating he had unpopular opinions and the UK govt were trying to “silence” him. The article linked actually has, one can hope, a more accurate description of what exactly transpired.

And herein lies the problem: Jailing someone for saying stuff usually only has the effect of amplifying their message. When you shoot a terrorist, you make them a martyr. Do I listen to a person on the street shouting random garbage? Of course not. Do I sit up and take notice if the powers that be throw them in jail? Definitely.