Court hears appeal for two men imprisoned for distributing Hoffman's "Holohoax" satire
In Britain, in Leeds Crown Court, on July 10, 2009, Simon Sheppard received a sentence of 4 years and 10 months and Stephen Whittle two years and four months. Mr. Sheppard's sentence comprised 12 months concurrent on three counts relating to distribution of Tales of the Holohoax, a satirical comic book by Michael Hoffman.
On July 14 the Court of Appeal gave leave to appeal against conviction on all the Internet counts, but refused leave to appeal with respect to the hard copy counts. The full appeal before three British judges commenced on November 26, 2009 at the Law Courts, Strand, London, and runs through Nov. 27.
An appeal will also be made to the European Court of Human Rights over the decision by the Leeds Appeal Court judge not to review the notorious decision in Reg. v. Birdwood when Judge Pownall's decision that "the truth is no defense" - was upheld.
Friends of freedom of the press can can write the imprisoned men as follows:
Simon Sheppard, A8042AA, Wing B3-25, HMP Leeds, 2 Gloucester Terrace, Stanningley Road, Leeds, LS12 2TJ, United Kingdom.
Stephen Whittle, A8041AA, Everthorpe Prison, Beck Road, Everthorpe, Brough, East Yorkshire, HU15 1RB, United Kingdom.
Michael Hoffman comments
Several years ago I decided to withdraw Tales of the Holohoax from circulation because it was being pirated without the inclusion of my explanatory essay on satire, which had been published at the end of the comic, and because the comic book itself had become a source of misunderstanding concerning the nature of my scholarship.
Mr. Sheppard did not abide by my request to halt his copying of Tales of the Holohoax. He even sent it to a British synagogue, which was very foolish. Nevertheless, I have considerable sympathy for the plight of these two free press activists, and great respect for Mr. Sheppard’s refusal to “repent.”
Meanwhile, Kurt Westergaard, the artist who drew the most inflammatory of the anti-Muslim cartoons in Denmark is today a wealthy, free man. According to the Huffington Post of April 8, 2009:
“Prints of the Danish cartoon depicting Islam's Prophet Mohammed as a suicide bomber in 2005...will now be sold by the Denmark Free Press Society for $250 each. One thousand copies are to be printed and sold, with each having a designated number and signature by the artist, Kurt Westergaard...The image won Westergaard international fame....he has never apologized or expressed regret for the drawings...(or) for being a ‘free artist’...he enjoys the backing of free speech and free press advocates around the globe in this regard. A notable example of one such advocate...is NATO Secretary General and Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who defended the drawings in 2006”
Prison for those who distribute a satire of wildly exaggerated "Holocaust" fairy tales, and $250,000, international fame, and accolades from the media and the Secretary General of NATO to the author of anti-Mohammed satire.