Police fail to press charges after JK Rowling dares them to arrest her for challenging hate speech law

JK Rowling, the author of the “Harry Potter” book series, challenged Scotland's new hate speech law on Monday, and police said they would not prosecute the author.

Scotland's new Hate Crime and Public Order Act was activated on 1 April. The text of the bill, initially introduced years ago, warns against acts that “incite hatred against a group of people” with certain protected characteristics, including age, disability, religion. or, in the case of a social or cultural group, perceived religious affiliation, sexual orientation, transgender identity, and variations in sex characteristics. The maximum sentence is seven years in prison.

Rowling, who lives in the Scottish capital Edinburgh, started an April Fool's Day social media thread listing several biologically male criminals who claimed to be transgender just before being convicted of various horrific crimes, expressing a feigned relief that their avowed gender identity was respected. . She then changed her rhetoric and said: “I'm joking. Obviously the people mentioned in the tweets above are not women at all, but men, every last one.”

After directly criticizing Scotland's new hate speech bill, Rowling said: “If what I have written here is considered an offense under the new law, I look forward to being arrested at my return to the cradle of the Scottish Enlightenment. »

The BBC reported on Tuesday afternoon that “social media comments made by JK Rowling challenging Scotland's new hate crime law are not being treated as crimes, Police Scotland said.”

Rowling and the police

Police in Scotland have reportedly said they will take no action against author JK Rowling over her online speech about transgender identity. (Photo of JK Rowling by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic. Police Scotland photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.)

BBC disciplines top radio host for calling trans women masculine during radio show

Rowling welcomed the decision, saying: “I hope that every woman in Scotland who wishes to speak out about the reality and importance of biological sex will be reassured by this announcement, and I hope that all women – whatever their profile or their financial means – will be. treated equally before the law. »

After a commenter speculated that local police wouldn't pursue Rowling because she had considerable wealth to fight such charges in court, Rowling vowed: “If they go after a woman simply for calling a man a man, I will repeat that woman’s words and they can charge us both at the same time.”

Scotland's new hate speech law has sent shockwaves across Scotland and the whole of the UK.

The Telegraph reported that former Scottish National Party deputy leader Jim Sillars had launched a campaign to “resist the hate crime law and campaign for its repeal”.

JK Rowling, transgender protester

JK Rowling has repeatedly spoken out about transgender people invading women's spaces. (Getty Images)


“Today, by its own admission, Police Scotland will move from being a service to being a force with a particular purpose: the pursuit of people who speak their minds,” Sillars said. This law “inflicts a profound wound on Scottish society”.

Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, commented directly on Rowling's challenge to the Scottish Police, saying: “We should not be criminalizing people who say common sense things about biological sex, that is not clearly not fair” and that “we have a proud tradition of freedom of expression.


Alba Cuebas-Fantauzzi of Fox News contributed to this report.


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