A man has been arrested for posting an image of a burning poppy on a social network site.
Kent Police said in a statement that the man, from Aylesham, was detained last night on suspicion of making malicious telecommunications and that he was in custody awaiting interview.
The force does not say whether the arrested man actually burned the poppy, or just posted the photo online.
The arrest was met with incredulity on Twitter, where people mounted a fierce discussion over civil liberties.
Kent Police said the suspect, a 19-year-old man from Canterbury, will be questioned over the posting on Facebook later today.
The force said in a statement: “A man is due to be interviewed by police this morning following reports that a picture of a burning poppy had been posted on a social media website.
“Officers were contacted at around 4pm yesterday and alerted to the picture, which was reportedly accompanied by an offensive comment.
“Following an investigation by Kent Police, a 19-year-old Canterbury man was arrested on suspicion of an offence under the Malicious Communications Act. He is currently in custody.”
Once again, a Briton falls foul to Britain’s asinine speech laws, which allow the offended to determine what is allowable. As the Guardian explains:
According to the website of the CPS, the Malicious Communications Act 1988, section 1, “deals with the sending to another of any article which is indecent or grossly offensive, or which conveys a threat, or which is false, provided there is an intent to cause distress or anxiety to the recipient”.
The CPS website states: “The offence covers letters, writing of all descriptions, electronic communications, photographs and other images in a material form, tape recordings, films and video recordings.”
Last year, Police in Northern Ireland arrested a number of people after a picture of two youths burning a poppy was posted on Facebook.
The poppy is a symbol of remembrance in Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and is worn in those countries leading up to and during November 11 to commemorate fallen soldiers.