Revisionist and free speech activist Dr. Fredrick Töben has been taken into custody to serve a three-month jail term for violating Australia’s anti-free speech laws.
Australian Federal Police took Töben, the author of Where Truth is no Defence, I want to break free, from the Federal Court in Adelaide after losing his appeal against his conviction for contempt of court. Töben refused to be silenced in his struggle to correct the historical record of the Holocaust on the Adelaide Institute website.
The judges said Töben also had a disregard for the orders of the court and had acted to undermine the authority of the court.
The Full Court of the Federal Court also ruled that his jail term, for what amounts to thoughtcrimes, was in no way excessive.
Earlier this year, Töben was found guilty on 24 counts of contempt for ignoring court orders preventing him from publishing Holocaust revisionist material. When he later imposed a three-month sentence, Justice Bruce Lander said Töben had continued to breach those 2002 orders, which prevented him from publishing material which was deemed anti-Semitic.
The 2002 orders stemmed from a racial discrimination case brought against him by Jeremy Jones, former president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.
Töben’s counsel David Perkins suggested that the revisionist material published on the Adelaide Institute website, was just a "drop in the bucket" compared to the amount of material questioning the orthodox Holocaust story available on the internet.
The judges said in their verdict that the case before them was not about the Holocaust, gas chambers or the execution of Jews during World War II. They said it was about whether or not Töben had complied with orders of the court. Those court orders however were intended to silence Töben on these very issues.
"Obedience to the court is not optional," they said.
In a final example of the limits on free speech in Australia today Töben asked if he could say something to the judges as the court rose, only to be cut off by Justice Jeffrey Spender who simply said, "No".
There are no guarantees of freedom of speech in Australia.
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