Mila trial: Eleven convicted of online hate towards French teenage girl who criticised Islam

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A French tribunal has convicted eleven radical of threatening a teen who criticised Islam connected societal media.

In the archetypal verdict of its kind, the defendants were fixed suspended situation sentences and fines for online harassment.

The miss astatine the centre of the landmark cyberbullying lawsuit has lone been identified publically by her archetypal name, Mila.

Mila, who describes herself arsenic an atheist, was 16 years aged erstwhile she started posting videos connected Instagram, and aboriginal TikTok, harshly criticising Islam and the Quran.

The videos drew beardown reactions online, forcing Mila to alteration schools and person constabulary protection.

Thirteen radical were placed connected proceedings implicit the case, astatine the caller Paris tribunal acceptable up successful January to prosecute online crimes, including harassment and discrimination.

On Wednesday, eleven radical were handed suspended situation presumption of 4 to six months and collectively fined €2,500. The cases against 2 different defendants were dropped.

Speaking astatine the proceedings Mila -- present aged 18 -- testified that she doesn't similar "any religion, not conscionable Islam," and that the online hatred messages made her consciousness similar she had been "condemned to death".

Her lawyer, Richard Malka, said Mila has received immoderate 100,000 threatening messages, including decease threats, rape threats, misogynist messages, and hateful messages astir her intersexual orientation.

After the verdict was read, Mila said that each victims of online maltreatment should basal unneurotic and request enactment against harassment connected societal networks.

"I was expecting worse and, honestly, we won and volition triumph again due to the fact that what I privation is that, united, we volition ne'er springiness up," she said.

"We volition proceed to combat ... I ne'er privation the victims to beryllium blamed again," she added.

Mila's proceedings l raised uncomfortable questions astir state of look and respect for France’s millions of Muslim citizens, but the Paris tribunal focused connected the facet of online abuse.

"Social networks are the street. When you walk idiosyncratic successful the street, you don’t insult them, endanger them, marque amusive of them," said the presiding judge, Michel Humbert. "What you don’t bash successful the street, don’t bash connected societal media."

Juan Branco, the lawyer for 1 of the defendants, denounced the verdict connected Wednesday.

"[My client] is not a fanatic, is idiosyncratic who respects beliefs, [but] who doesn’t similar this clime wherever 1 portion of the French colonisation is systemically nether attack," helium said.

According to French Citizenship Minister Marlene Schiappa, online hatred crimes roseate by 34% successful 2020.

"The full state indispensable condemn the aggressors and cease to blasted the victims," Schiappa said successful a statement.

On Tuesday, a French tribunal besides gave Twitter 2 months to stock details astir its procedures to halt users from inciting violence, radical hatred, oregon committing different offenses.

The ruling arose from a civilian suit brought by groups that combat racism and anti-LGBT discrimination, who argued that Twitter was not doing capable to mean and region contented that violates French hatred code oregon different laws.

Twitter has said they are deciding whether to entreaty the case.

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