What does the law say?
« Under the law of the United Kingdom, “incitement to racial hatred” was established as an offence by the provisions of §§ 17-29 of the Public Order Act 1986. It was first established as a criminal offence in the Race Relations Act 1976. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 made publication of material that incited racial hatred an arrestable offence.
This offence refers to:
- deliberately provoking hatred of a racial group
- distributing racist material to the public
- making inflammatory public speeches
- creating racist websites on the Internet
- inciting inflammatory rumours about an individual or an ethnic group, for the purpose of spreading racial discontent.
Laws against incitement to hatred against religions were later established under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006. »
What did Minister Anil Gayan say?
In the video reportedly dating back to 2016 and circulating on internet and social media, one can see and hear Anil Gayan clearly saying:
« Dans la communauté musulmane, énan honour killing quand quelqu’un ki marier, ou bien ène tifille qui marier quelqu’un qui so famille panne accepter, la famille alle touille sa tifille là. Et dans banne pays couma Pakistan et les autes pays, c’est accepté comme ène fait normal parce qui c’est culturellement accepté et acceptable. Mais nous pas bisin accepter ça qualité barbarie qui certains dimounes commettent. »
Translated into English, Anil Gayan said:
« In the Muslim community, there is honour killing whereby someone who is married, or a [Muslim] girl who is married to someone whose family does not accept, members of that [Muslim] family set out to murder the girl. And in countries like Pakistan, and other countries, this [Muslim] practice is acceptable as normal because such murder is culturally accepted and acceptable [in Muslim communities]. But, we do not have to accept this sort of barbarity which certain [Muslim] people commit. »
Anil Gayan’s speech is clearly inflammatory. The subject of Anil Gayan (a Hindu himself) was honour killing and his target is the Muslim community. He deliberately provoked hatred of Muslims and the Islamic culture of which he displays no knowledge as honour killing does not exist in Islam. Under the Public Order Act 1986, the Race Relations Act 1976, the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 and the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006, this is an arrestable offence.
In the aftermath of terrorist attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, where an Australian radicalised extremist and terrorist murdered many Muslims while they were praying in a mosque, the Government of Mauritius must bring Anil Gayan to justice to prevent such acts of terrorism happening in Mauritius. Anil Gayan must be prosecuted for incitement to racial and religious hatred as there is clearly a reasonable prospect of conviction. Anil Gayan must also be prosecuted in the public interest.
M Rafic Soormally
29 May 2019