A YouTube comedian who was fined £800 after teaching a pug to do a Nazi salutes while he made anti-Semitic comments has racked up over £85,000 on a crowdfunding page he set up to reverse the precedent set by his conviction.
Mark Meechan – also known as Count Dankula – was fined at a Scottish court on Monday after he posted a “grossly offensive” video on YouTube of the dog responding to phrases such as “gas the Jews.” He is now calling on people to fund his defense as he fears his conviction could set a precedent for courts to convict without considering relevant context.
Meechan claims the court only managed to deliver a guilty sentence after they “willingly ignored” the context of the video, which he said had twice been stated.
“This conviction will be used as an example to convict other people over the things they say and the jokes they make, it sets a standard where courts will be able to willfully ignore the context and intent of a person’s words and actions in order to punish them and brand them as criminals,” Meechan wrote on his GoFundMe page.
He justified the £100,000 (US$140,000) target by saying his lawyers had quoted such a figure as they want to make sure they have top representatives in order to have a higher chance of reversing the “standard that his case sets.”
“I cannot allow the two years of litigation I went through and having my life put on hold, to happen to anyone else,” Meechan added.
Meechan’s case has sparked a mass debate on free speech, with prominent figures, including comedian Ricky Gervais and satirical journalist Jonathan Pie defending him.
Both of them watered down claims of Meechan’s video being “grossly offensive” by claiming it was merely a “joke.”
If you like this story, share it with a friend!