Cassandra Vera, a 21-year-old student from the city of Murcia in the south-east of Spain, has been sentenced to a year in prison, and disqualified from public functions for seven years, after making jokes on Twitter that “glorified terrorism”. Ruling on her crime, judges in the National Audience, Spain’s top criminal court, stated that Vera’s tweets “constitute contempt, dishonour, disrepute, mockery and affront to the people who have suffered the blow of terrorism”.
The judges were following the law but their interpretation is questionable. The European parliament has made it crystal clear that for there to be an offence of glorification or justification of terrorism, it has to be understood “as a way to gather support for terrorist causes or to seriously intimidate the population”. It should, according to the parliament, only be punished “when it causes a danger that terrorist acts may be committed”.