A Greek soccer star who has been sentenced to prison for social media posts condemning a law enabling children to undergo gender transition plans to appeal the Orwellian conviction.
Vasilis Tsiartas, a legend of European soccer, was sentenced to 10 months in prison and subject to a $5k fine earlier this month over comments he made in 2017 that were deemed to amount to “public incitement to violence or hatred on the basis of gender identity.”
According to attorney Vassilis Sotiropoulos, Tsiartas’ was the first sentencing made on the basis of the “anti-racist” Greek law No. 927/1979 on Combating Race Discrimination, The Greek Reporter notes.
The law was drafted and adopted in 2014 to “align domestic legislation with European Union rules pertaining to hate speech and denial of genocide,” according to the Library of Congress.
The now-retired soccer star plans to appeal, as he posted in Greek on Twitter earlier this month.
Αναφορικά με την χθεσινή δημοσίευση της καταδικαστικής σε βάρος μου πρωτόδικης απόφασης (κατά της οποίας θα ασκήσω έφεση), θα τοποθετηθώ αναλυτικά από την άλλη εβδομάδα.
— Vasilis Tsiartas (@VasilisTsiartas) November 4, 2022
The sentencing was celebrated by the Transgender Support Association (SYD) which had brought the suit alleging violations of the “anti-racist” law, citing claims that Tsiartas’ social media posts had threatened the “physical well-being or life” of transgender individuals and accusing him of having “used vulgar language to degrade.”
SYD said in a statement that the athlete’s conviction was “particularly important for the transgender community.”
The offending social media posts were written by Tsiartas in 2017 in reaction to Greek legislation that would have redefined gender and lowered the legal age to undergo gender transition to 15.
“I wish that the first gender changes will be made by the children of those who voted for this disgrace,” he wrote at the time. “Let’s see with what pride they will have. PS Legalize the pedophiles and complete the crimes.”
“God created Adam and Eve,” he also wrote.
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