It all started with a comment. A rather harsh and racist comment towards a specific religion, causing prejudice to them, especially during their fast. While a few others supported what she said by rubbing salt onto the wound, other Facebookers decided to make screenshots of the said comments and propagate it on the social network.
Very quickly, it became the talk of the town. Taking the matter seriously, authorities lead their investigations to find out if the profile was a genuine one. The 20 years old girl surrendered herself to the police 2 days ago. Since then, she is still behind the bars as the police objected to her bail. At the same time, the police is on the trail of a guy who participated in the racist and communal act. Accused of “unlawfully and knowingly use a computer system to perform a function for the purpose of securing a program in the computer system with intent to commit an offence to wit :- stirring up racial hatred »“, she can be be sentenced up to 5 years imprisonnement and a fine of up to Rs1 million.
Do’s & Don’ts
As a blogger, I have been very often at the heart of such situations in which people threaten of dragging me to court. Yet, I’m still writing. Why? I’m always very careful of the words I use in my blog posts or on Facebook even though I do not have any legal background or support of any lawyer.
We surely live in a democracy whereby our constitution gives us the right to express ourselves freely but we should be on alert. I might perhaps write another blog post on the topic but for now, here are a few things to do and also, things which should not be done while writing on the net :
- Always be on guard.
- Be choosy about the words you use.
- Use screenshots/photos when available
- Always show or write about facts and proven data
- Publish publicly available data. Facebook can be of great use.
- Write about your stand on the matter, without using any of the “donts” mentioned below.
- No personal attacks,
- No mentioning of names when it has not be proven.
- No swearing (That is the worst thing you can do, in real life or using mobile/computers)
- No racial speech or any form of speech which can bring to conflicts among communities/religion.
- No use of pictures without prior authorization (applies to private properties and when privacy of people is concerned)
To sum up, you should be responsible and assume what you are writing. There are things which can be tolerated in the society and ensure that you do not cross the limit. For example, a few weeks ago, a newspaper editor was arrested for publishing pictures of Michaela Harte.
You are the most welcomed to express yourself on the subject or by contributing additional do’s and dont’s.
Some wise advice for FB/blog users. There are limits as to what is tolerated. Insults and attacks on specific communities or religions is plain hatred on the part of the originator. Keep in mind that any printed hate is public and is just the same as if you made a verbal aggression on the street.
Dont: Post sexist remarks (you have done this quite a few times, unfortunately).
Approved but I must say that if ever I did it, I did bring the necessary corrections so as to prevent people from misunderstanding my points. I probably know which post you are talking about, but can you nevertheless mention the article?
Challenge not accepted by VC.
🙂 Don’t ask why…
There is a simple golden rule online: Behave as you would in normal life. Would you curse/swear after every two words in real life? Would you rant endlessly about other communities? It’s all about common sense.
However, if someone is a scumbag in the physical world, he will still be a scumbag online. “There is no cure for being a c*nt.”
In “Normal Life”, I see mobs of youngsters of same ethnological background grouping as if in exclusion to others and swearing a lot in public – cussing more than punctuation and actual grammar to link their ideas. Boys AND girls alike – just have a stroll in Place Margéot / Victoria / Flacq at school day peak time for witnessing the future of Dodoland….
Mauritius, c’est un plaisir.
Demain, le plaisir sera plus grand, et encore plus obscène…
1st of all, I must say that what was said on that particular FB page was revolting, extremely intolerant and most of all stupid. They were clearly out of line on the subject they were talking.
That said, I find it EQUALLY worrying that “LA LIBERTE D’EXPRESSION est en train d’etre piétiné a Maurice”. Whatever that girl has said, she has said it on a particular page. What were the offended persons doing on that particular page in the 1st place? If I buy and read “Mein Kampf”, should I be surprised to find racist comments there?
It’s not like that FB girl has been posting racist comments on people’s wall or saying offensive stuff in public places. If that was the case, then yes, I would understand she would need to be prosecuted.
Again, I firmly believe that what this girls has said is EXTREMELY BAD and OFFENSIVE, however, people were free to un-friend her or ignore her FB page and post. They chose to read. They were not force to.
It’s extremely upsetting that in 2012, people cannot freely speak their mind. I have read a lot ( and I mean A LOT) of offensive comments on/against my ethnicity/religion on the internet. I just chose to ignore them OR to retort to them if/when I feel like. I firmly believe in FREE SPEECH and my FREE WILL TO IGNORE other’s FREE SPEECH.
It is even more upsetting to find politicians (at the highest levels) interfering in this affair. I mean, why did not they intervene when the TI VEGAS owner/boss insulted Mauritian children? Why don’t they intervene when politicians say racist or gay or gender-offensive comments? Why now?
And then, how did the police use that “Misuse of computer” law to prosecute the FB girls? Should I be afraid to post my thoughts on the net now? This is a serious problem people!
Hmm, you are making reference to some famous authors’ (correct me if I’m wrong, was it Jean Marie Alphonse Arouet?) saying: “Je ne suis pas d’accord avec ce que vous dîtes, mais je mourrai pour votre droit à le dire”. (I don’t agree with what you say, but I’d die for your right to say it). This is why you may hear swear-words on French TV.
Now, go tell that to Mauritian law-makers and law-enforcers…
I’m impressed at the way this case is being treated: so severe that the suspect has sunk back into depression and admitted to hospital after her appearing in Court.
But I’m quite puzzled at the double standards: why is she the first to get a taste of the stick? Have a look on comments section of all the other social sites and news sites, say, Defimedia.info for example, and try to tell me if most habitual commenters are not reeking of ethno-phobic allusions, despite the pseudo-filtering by administrators.
What about other international websites where Mauritians (well, to those who doubt about my assertion: which other country’s dwellers know the Mauritian creole language) have posted outright racist, sexist and other extremist comments in creole without ever getting bothered to date?
This isn’t even a first on Facebook as well. Lots of mauritian folks publicly and regularly post racist comments. Have a look at this compilation from 2010 for instance.
Here you go – https://plus.google.com/107048171099175859014/posts/FkZk8hAFJre
Only one question : Did you read what she had written on that page?
Nope and I don’t care. Whether it’s an attack or not, I respect her “idiotic” (or not) point of view. It’s a free country. Everything is subjective to pov. Keep on trolling!
Too bad becase you would not say this if you read it.
I did but I can’t quote her (for obvious reasons).
Everyone must have, at least once in his or her lifetime, offended someone else. Everyone should, in the same logic, serve some jail-time
Mauritius is a secular country, BTW. People should not seeing colour, race, religion, etc.
My religion is personal. I don’t flaunt my beliefs in people’s faces. I don’t take offence of what people write. I either ignore them or correct them. Taking offence makes one older. There are more important things in life than trolls.
Thank you, Fadil 🙂 Thanks.
Asterla dimoune pou peur exprime zot online… tension lot dimoune offenser ek met zot prison… bon mo per commence pense emmigrer 1 lot pays moi.. per vine bien grave ici.
Les propos qui dénigrent des personnes, incitent à la haine =>ce n’est pas de la liberté d’expression … ça ne tue personne de garder ses propos haineux à l’intérieur de soi. Ca mène à quoi de s’exprimer ainsi? à rien à part créer des conflits… donc un gros bravo pour son arrestation, que cela serve d’exemple pour tous les mauriciens quelque soit leur religion pour qu’ils arrêtent de se critiquer mutuellement. Les petites guéguerres entre personnes de différentes religions ne servent à rien, faut être malade pour inciter à la haine comme ça, qu’ils se respectent mutuellement en tant qu’être humain et qu’ils consacrent leur force et leur salive à des choses plus constructives!
There is a misconception about freedom of speech and inciting hatred. Many people believe inciting hatred is within the same category as the former. Even in western countries (France, UK, USA, Germany,…), hate incitement is a serious crime which is punishable by imprisonment.
I suspect that there’s gonna be a lot of arrest in the coming months… It all started with the Tamil Federation censoring Susheela Raman… Now it’s that poor (but ignorant) girl… Next it’s gonna be mr and mrs everybody… Groupuscule & co. 2 : Intelligent Citizens 0
Wow, I’ve never been more ashamed to be a mauritian. I guess we’re still better than Saudi Arabia or North Korea but just barely. I don’t know and don’t care what she said, she is entitled to her opinion no matter how racist it is.
The day we start imprisoning people for what they say and think is truly a very sad one for mauritian democracy.
If something offends you, ignore it. That’s the way it should be. You don’t have the right to force someone else to bend to your point of view and you shouldn’t have it, whether we like it or not, people have the right to be bigoted and racist.
soon the law will expect us….
We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us
Traduction : I am repeating a popular neck-beard catch phrase and that makes me the epitome of coolness.
As Richard Dawkins described it, taking offence is the only weapon the religious have left.
Political correctness, the pressure on every intellectual movement so that no one says anything anymore in case somebody else gets offended.
When did “sticks and stones may break my bones…” stop being relevant? You have adults going like : I WAS OFFENDED 😥 , I WAS OFFENDED AND I HAVE RIGHTS ! So what? Be offended, nothing happens.
I WENT TO A COMEDY SHOW AND THE COMEDIAN SAID SOMETHING ABOUT THE LORD AND I WAS OFFENDED 😥 . AND WHEN I WOKE UP IN THE MORNING I HAD LEPROSY 😥 . Nothing happens.
You’re an adult, grow up, deal with it. I WANNA LIVE IN A DEMOCRACY BUT I DON’T WANT TO BE OFFENDED AGAIN 😥 ! Well, you’re an idiot.
How do you make a law about offending people? How do you make an offence to offend people? Being offended is subjective, that is everything that has to do with you as an individual or a collective, your moral conditioning, your religious beliefs.
What offends me may not offend you, you don’t make laws about this. I’m offended when I see boys bands for god’s sake. It’s valid offence, I’m offended. They’re corporate shills posing as musicians to further a modelling career and frankly I’m disgusted.
Saw that picture on Facebook and I thought it was ridiculous.
First, what the girl said was stupid. And then, as stupid (or more stupid) was to take a screenshot and spread around.
Of course, the meme attached may not apply to everyone, but sometimes, seriously, it’s so true..
I’m a Canadian-Mauritian who’s been in Canada for the last 10 years. I just read (and learned about) Krishnee’s comments. I also happen to be a professional in the legal field. It is in fact illegal (even here) to publicly express discrimination and hatred against any religious group. However, taking her to jail is WAAAAAYYYY over the line, I’m sure a firm warning would’ve sufficed! She would’ve certainly taken the posts down and even made a public apology if requested (learning a valuable life lesson in the process!) fearing the prospect of jail time. Honestly, I find that not only appalling but also hypocritical as hell! Racism is EVERYWHERE in Mauritius; it’s rooted at the very core of society!
Although I’m diametrically opposed to her comments and opinions, and those of her friends, I think it’s worth noting that these were far from the most shocking and hateful things you can read on the net at any given time. As commenters noted, many other posts around the web are far more vulgar and degrading to specific groups.
The tragedy stems from our upbringing and education as Mauritians. This is extremely sad but true. As a kid growing up in an upper-middle class family in the 90s, I can remember most authority figures (parents, teachers, cops) demonstrating acute racism towards different ethnic groups from theirs. Stereotypes, which are demonstrated and reinforced through childhood, become an ingrained part of one’s mentality and perception of reality. Without a second thought, prejudice is accepted as fact and becomes part of everyday vocabulary as a teenager and adult.
Becoming more of a progressive thinker as a teenager, I had quite the tendency to make friends and date outside of my ethnic group (as if dating in itself as a teenager wasn’t enough for cries of blasphemy from my dad lol). When Daddy found out I was going out with this girl (Angie) from Roche Bois, he wanted to eviscerate me with his bare hands! Who cares if she was beautiful, interesting, confident, intelligent (life-smart too, not just academically), had great taste in music, had a smile that would melt a rock, had an amazing sense of fashion, was highly sociable, had a killer body, was eloquent and had great control of the French language?? All my dad could see was that she was black and “her people from Roche Bois are gonna come and beat you up, this is just trouble!” If I absolutely HAD to date, then it should be a goodie-good coy little Hindu girl who knew nothing other than school and Bollywood movies… Hmmm.. Angie was actually mulatto (example of another general grouping of all people with African heritage, calling all of them “black”. That’s not quite right!). I also bet that her social circle would never touch me as my father stipulated since they were decent people.. Yet another wrong stereotype that “black” people will ALWAYS beat you up and mug you. All of my subsequent dates were treated the same, notably even a French girl! (Other than my last girlfriend before leaving Mauritius… And that’s because she’s Hindu of course!)
Living in Toronto, Canada (one of the most diverse places on the planet), I can tell you that Mauritius is multi-cultural but veeeerrrry segregated. Here, as a proud Canadian, I know the situation is not perfect… There is segregation, but by large and far it is socio-economic and NOT religious/ethnic. I find that in a capitalist system, socio-economic segregation CAN be good because it calls the individual on taking measures to climb up the ranks as well as to work on his/her social skills/charisma. However, as a proud Mauritian, I sadly observe that beyond socio-economic status, religion is far too present on my fellow Mauritians’ sense of identity, as is their ethnic heritage. Fair enough, religion and ethnicity are character-defining traits of a human being… But not half as much as their nationality! We’re on a small rock where we stand close to each other every single day no matter where we turn. Yet, we rarely talk to each other on the same level we would talk to someone with the same religious and ethnic background. This is Wrong!!
This problem has to be dealt with from the roots. It’s direly important to teach the upcoming generation that we are all the same; we breathe the same and bleed the same. I strongly believe there should be a social and legal reform in Mauritius where measures are taken so that minority groups can progressively get more equal chance at opportunity, education and employment (No right now they don’t AT ALL!!).
A couple of interesting facts:
– When a Mauritian Muslim and Hindu walk on the street side by side in a foreign country, no onlooker would ever know who is who and religion would be the least of the latter’s worry in forming an opinion about them. Ergo, they’re the same!
– Canada and the US have some of the highest rates of mixed marriages in the world, yet people of South Asian heritage, i.e Hindu/Muslim-Mauritian, Indian, Pakistani etc., are THE least likely to date/marry outside their ethnic group!
I shall now put the book I just wrote to an end! Hahaha. Vouch against racism People! Allez nou ti lil!
Another one who vented her bigotry online. But the overreaction should be analysed in a cool-headed way, because in any case… And that there are other social networks where the language is infinitely more despicable that this one tired brain.
Let’s hope that the same severity will prevail when the electoral climate will settle in 1 year from now…