Appealing to the ECHR
From Gates of Vienna.
Elisabeth had been active in the anti-sharia movement for a number of years before she was charged; in fact, she had been giving her informational seminars on Islam for several years before I first met her at the Brussels Conference in 2007. Long before she was brought before the Vienna Star Chamber, she had proven herself a gutsy activist for the European Counterjihad.
Regular readers are already familiar with Elisabeth’s case, but for newcomers, a brief review is in order. In the fall of 2009, unbeknownst to Elisabeth, the left-wing magazine NEWS sent a reporter to one of her seminars to make a surreptitious recording of it. She learned through that same newspaper — not via the court — that a charge was to be filed against her. In late November a criminal complaint was filed against Elisabeth for “hate speech” under Austrian law.
Her “crime” was to tell the attendees at her seminar that Mohammed “had a thing for little girls”. Notwithstanding the authentic hadith of Bukhari (among others), which establishes the factual nature of her utterance, she had committed the crime of offending Islam, and the Austrian establishment was determined to bring her to justice.
For almost a year she was left hanging; her case finally came to trial in November 2010. The original charge was “incitement to hatred”. On the second day of the trial, the judge at her own discretion added a second charge, “denigration of religious beliefs of a legally recognized religion.” Elisabeth was eventually acquitted on the first charge, and convicted on the second. She appealed to the highest court of appeal in Austria, which decided against her in December 2011.
The next level of appeal is to the European Court of Human Rights. For most of this year, Elisabeth’s lawyer has been preparing her case for Strasbourg, and now the time is approaching when the ECHR will hand down a decision.
Unfortunately, Elisabeth’s defense fund is all but exhausted. Thanks to the generosity of all those who donated in 2010 and 2011, Elisabeth’s legal team was able to continue to act on her behalf since the appeal was filed early this year. However, such actions are expensive.
There is no such thing as “pro-bono” in Austria — every step of the process has to be paid by the defendant. In the United States, numerous civil liberties groups would jump at the chance to take up Elisabeth’s cause. But Europe is different. Most worthy causes are state-funded, so that private altruism — including pro-bono legal help — is all but unknown.
For this reason we are reactivating the “Elisabeth’s Voice” appeal. As most of you know, Elisabeth refused to be silenced, or even slowed down, by the decision against her. She continues to give her seminars, and has spoken out frequently at public events. In July of this year she shared the reading of the Brussels Declaration with me at the Brussels Conference of 2012.
Perhaps her most effective work for our cause has been her attendance and interventions at various meetings of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, as part of a team representing Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa,International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA), ACT! For America, and other civil liberties organizations. See the most recent post on the OSCE for a track-back to all the excellent work that these dedicated activists have accomplished.
The OSCE doesn’t garner much in the way of headlines. It’s not as exciting as dumping pigs’ blood at mosque sites, or burning Korans. But in the long run it’s more effective, because the quiet infiltration and co-opting of international organizations is one of the most crucial strategies employed by the Muslim Brotherhood and the OIC.
At some point, those of us who intend to preserve Western civilization must stand athwart history and yell “Stop!” The OSCE seems an appropriate place at which to begin our concerted resistance.
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As part of her appeal for new donations to her fund, Elisabeth sends this message to all her readers and previous donors:
One year ago I was preparing for my final court appearance. Back then, I was still hopeful that some kind of legal sanity existed in this country. It was painful to be proven wrong and realize that — wittingly or unwittingly — Austria has become sharia-compliant. Even more irksome was the fact that I was literally forced to pay the fine of 480 euros.
I become more despondent when I consider the gulag-like United Kingdom, which is currently resorting to the incarceration of those who defend democratic and liberal values while granting bail to criminals who rape, rob and reap the financial rewards of a country blinded by the illness of Multiculturalism. It is sickening to witness, and very frightening.
While we all watch in horror what transpires in the United Kingdom, Sweden and Norway, my brilliant and able lawyer, Dr. Michael Rami, has been busy keeping the Austrian legal system busy, trying to convince those sharia-compliant idiots legal experts in the justice system that they have made a grave mistake. Since early 2012, my case has been pending at the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg. Dr. Rami is (still) optimistic about the outcome. I say: We shall see.
On the home front, the court system is still forced to deal with the issue of whether the word “pedophilia” is being used with its exact scientific significance. The case is now being handled in the Procurator General’s Office, which has already ruled the case well-judged.
You may remember that there were quite a few questionable occurrences during the trials. One example: According to the court, I should have been aware of the contents of the judgment against Susanne Winter and, therefore should have refrained from repeating her words.
So I am supposed to be informed by all judgments made in courts every single day. How ludicrous! Dr. Rami agrees:
“The appeals court has propounded a new fact for assessing guilt, namely the fact that ‘the accused has paid no attention at all to the nearly identical situation in the judgment of the supreme provincial court in Graz, but rather obstinately denied it.’ And yet, nothing was said about this verdict of the Graz court or the conviction of Dr. Susanne Winter in the statements of the accused, nor in the proceedings of the lower or the appeals court.”
In addition, I was also “ambushed” during the trial when the judge introduced her theory of “pedophilia” — or the lack thereof in Mohammed’s case: because royalty in the Middle Ages married off children, there is no proof of Mohammed’s behavior being motivated by anything but love. The Procurator General’s Office opines that all is well, but Dr. Rami disagrees:
“The procurator sees no breach of the ban on ambush (surprise), since the argument of the court that child marriages were widespread in Europe was not addressed ‘as a fact decisive for guilt and subsumption, because this statement was not the object of the accusation.’
“The Procurator General overlooks the fact that she was convicted, because the court assumed she was not concerned with a factual debate, since she had accused Islam of child marriages even though such had been widespread in Europe.
“It is incomprehensible that the Procurator general discounts this mistake by the court, but a few pages later refers to precisely this passage by the court, according to which the accused was not concerned with a factual argument.”
Finally, Dr. Rami told me he has studied everything about Islam in depth, and has done and is continuing to do everything in his power to win this important case. He added that the courts were probably very surprised at our tenacity.
This tenacity, however, comes at a price. Every time Dr. Rami submits papers to the court, I am presented with a bill. And my fund is all but depleted. This means I will not be able to pay the fees for the next document submitted to the court.
I am appealing once again to the generosity of the thousands of supporters of freedom of speech. I will continue the fight, if that is your decision. I will not give up.
A very blessed Christmas to you and your family and may freedom prevail! Our children deserve no less.
Anyone who wants to contribute may visit Elisabeth’s Voice and make a donation using PayPal. Or, if you prefer, you may send a bank transfer using the following information for international payments:
Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich
Made out to: Public Notary Mag. Martin Scheichenbauer, Hemmaweg 5, A-9342 Gurk