In a landmark decision, a UK court has sentenced an antisemite to 18 weeks in prison for disseminating grossly offensive material and messages on social media denying the Holocaust.
The sentencing makes Alison Chabloz the first person in the UK to be jailed specifically for Holocaust denial, under the terms of the 2003 Communications Act.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism organization, which has been heavily involved in bringing Chabloz to trial, welcomed the sentencing, saying it would provide protection to the UK Jewish community from her and others who would spread such material.
The UK does not have any specific statute criminalizing Holocaust denial, but the Communications Act prohibits the transmission of messages or material via electronic communications networks that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing nature.
Chabloz was convicted by Westminster Magistrates’ Court, and sentenced on Wednesday by District Judge Michael Snow to 18 weeks in prison, of which she will serve nine.
Chabloz, 57, was convicted for comments she made in an interview with a far-right online radio station in 2019.
“The Jews, they need to stop indoctrinating their children, you know, their grandparents were gassed just because they were Jews,” she said. “No wonder they grow up into psychotic maniacs. They are indoctrinated from birth with this bullsh*t, and they’ve been doing the same for centuries, even before the Holocaust.”
In a separate interview with a different radio station, Chabloz said that “anything that’s worth controlling will have Jews there controlling it.”
Chabloz accused Jews of inventing the Holocaust in order to profit financially. Hitler’s treatment of European Jews was caused by bad Jewish behavior, she added, and insisted that there was nothing wrong with saying “Hitler was right.” Chabloz claimed that the judge who convicted her had been intimidated by the “Jewish lobby.”
She then publicized the interviews on Gab account, a social networking site associated with neo-Nazis and other extremists.
Snow ruled that the Jewish community needs to be protected, and that Chabloz’s comments were grossly offensive.
This is not Chabloz’s first conviction for disseminating antisemitic material. She was convicted in 2017 by the same court, under the Communications Act, for antisemitic songs she posted on social media, which included the lines: “Now Auschwitz, holy temple, is a theme park just for fools, the gassing zone a proven hoax, indoctrination rules,” and “History repeats itself, no limit to our wealth, thanks to your debts we’re bleeding you dry. We control your media, control all your books and TV…”
She was given a two-year suspended sentence of 20 weeks in prison by the Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
“Alison Chabloz’s repulsive opinions about Jews can be traced back to the beer halls of 1930s Germany,” said Stephen Silverman, director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism. “Despite already having been convicted of similar offenses, she continued, while serving her suspended sentence, to use the Internet to attempt to radicalize others and convert them to her hateful way of thinking about Jewish people.
“Today’s verdict and sentence finally give the Jewish community justice and protection from someone who has made a vocation out of denying the Holocaust and baiting Jews. It also sends a clear message to those who might be tempted to go down the same path.”