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On David Irving's Trial Outcome

So famous Holocaust denier David Irving has been sentenced to three years in jail in Austria for violating this law:

whoever denies, grossly plays down, approves or tries to excuse the National Socialist genocide or other National Socialist crimes against humanity in a print publication, in broadcast or other media.

Given the recent debate over free speech issues regarding the Danish cartoons, a lot of people are probably going to say that Irving should not be jailed for what he did. I'm not so sure.

I don't see this so much as a free speech issue as an issue about lying. I don't think it is unreasonable to say that in countries such as Austria, if you're going to talk about the historical record of WW2, you have an obligation to do so accurately. Irving is entitled to whatever opinions he wants, but he's not entitled to his own set of facts, and I think it's acceptable to call him on that difference.

We send people to jail for perjury, after all. Why is this so different?


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