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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak supports author JK Rowling in Scottish hate crime legislation

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak supports author JK Rowling in Scottish hate crime legislation

“We believe in freedom of expression in this country,” says British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (file)

London:

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday backed “Harry Potter” author JK Rowling over her stance against a new hate crimes law being enforced by Scotland’s devolved government, which she says restricts freedom of expression.

The British Indian leader made a statement on the new Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill, which came into force on Monday, prompting JK Rowling to issue a stark warning on social media about the “dangers of eliminating singles for women and girls “sex rooms”.

The law creates a new offense of “stirring up hatred” in relation to protected characteristics.

“People should not be criminalized for stating simple facts about biology. We believe in free speech in this country and the Conservatives will always protect it,” Rishi Sunak said in a statement.

In a series of social media posts on Monday, JK Rowling – a vocal advocate for women-only spaces balanced with trans rights – referred to several transgender women as men, including convicted prisoners, trans activists and other public figures life. The award-winning Scottish author, who lives in Edinburgh, then called on police to arrest her if she believed she had committed a crime under the new law.

“I am currently out of the country, but if what I have written here qualifies as a criminal offense under the terms of the new law, I look forward to being arrested when I return to the birthplace of the Scottish Enlightenment,” writes JK Rowling on X, formerly Twitter.

JK Rowling, 58, said the members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) who voted for the new hate crime laws “placed a higher value on the feelings of men who exercise their idea of ​​femininity, no matter how misogynistic or opportunistic.” than the rights and freedoms of real women and girls”.

Humza Yousaf, the Pakistani-born First Minister of Scotland who was justice secretary in the Scottish National Party (SNP) government when the law was passed in the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood in 2021, was attacked with Islamophobic graffiti near his home in Dundee As the new law comes into force. However, he insisted it was a reminder of why such a law was necessary to ensure a “zero tolerance approach to hate”.

Police Scotland are investigating the graffiti and said “investigations are ongoing”.

Meanwhile, hundreds gathered outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh to protest against the new hate crime law which restricts freedom of expression. They waved signs reading “Truth is not hate speech” and “Protect free speech.”

The new laws were developed following an independent review of hate crime legislation, which concluded that new specific offenses related to inciting hatred were needed.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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