UK & World News

  • 12 November 2012, 12:35

Burning Poppy Photo: Man Faces Questioning

A man is to be questioned by police after an image of a burning poppy was posted on Facebook on Remembrance Sunday.

Kent Police said the 19-year-old, from Canterbury, was detained last night on suspicion of making malicious telecommunications and is in custody awaiting interview.

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."

The arrest was met with disbelief on Twitter, where people mounted a fierce discussion over civil liberties.

Tom Williams, tweeting as @tomwilliamsisme, wrote: "The scary thing is, the man wasn't arrested for burning a poppy - that's not illegal. He was arrested for putting it online."

Jamie's Pants, under @thisisrjg, tweeted: "We do not have a right to not be offended. We certainly don't have a right to lock up someone for offending some people", 

And Thom Lumley, tweeting as @Hotstepperrr, wrote: "Dear idiots at Kent Police, burning a poppy may be obnoxious, but it is not a criminal offence."

David Allen Green, a journalist and lawyer for the New Statesman, tweeting as Jack of Kent, wrote: "What was the point of winning either World War if, in 2012, someone can be casually arrested by Kent Police for burning a poppy?"

Australian musician and comedian Tim Minchin also tweeted his incredulity, saying: "You've a right to burn a (fake!) poppy. Whether I agree with the action is utterly irrelevant. Kent Police are out of line."

Meanwhile, a man who skateboarded alongside a Remembrance Sunday parade wearing a pink outfit and horned mask has been charged under the Public Order Act, police said.

Jose Paulo Da Silveria, 38, is alleged to have skateboarded beside marching troops as they made their way past the cenotaph towards College Green in Bristol city centre.

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