Montreal

Quebecer handed 30-day sentence for praising mosque shooter in YouTube videos

A 49-year-old man has been sentenced to 30 days behind bars for inciting hatred through videos he posted online that praised the Quebec City mosque shooter.

Judge ruled Pierre Dion's comments were 'full of prejudices'

Pierre Dion is seen leaving a courtroom at the Laval courthouse on May 22, when he was found guilty of inciting hatred in videos posted to YouTube. (Radio-Canada)

A 49-year-old Quebec man has been sentenced to 30 days behind bars for inciting hatred through videos he posted online.

After finding him guilty on May 22, Quebec court Judge Gilles Garneau handed down the sentence Tuesday, allowing Pierre Dion to serve his sentence one day a week starting June 21.

Provincial police arrested Dion at his home in Terrebonne, north of Montreal, on Jan. 31.

Dion posted his first video on YouTube on Jan. 27 and another on Jan. 29 — the second anniversary of Alexandre Bissonnette's attack on the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City that left six men dead and injured several others.

Dion praised Bissonnette and said he wanted Quebecers to "wake up."

Dion had also called the immigration of Muslims an "invasion" and denounced social media for what he called censorship.

Garneau ruled that Dion's videos targeted Muslims, ruling his comments were "full of prejudices," particularly when he called on Canadians to "kick Muslims out of the country."

The judge described Dion's crime as "heinous" for adding further punishment to the Muslim community, already affected by the shooting.

In addition, the judge said he did not believe the excuses made by Dion, who mistakenly believed that his freedom of expression was limitless.

The judge said there is no doubt that Dion's comments incited hatred.

Canada's hate speech laws make it a criminal offence to advocate genocide, publicly incite hatred and willfully promote hatred against an "identifiable group."

With files from Radio-Canada

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