Greek neo-Nazi lawmaker is convicted for hate speech
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Greek neo-Nazi lawmaker is convicted for hate speech

Ilias Kasidiaris of the Golden Dawn party given suspended sentence of 6 months for inciting violence against immigrants

Golden Dawn far right party lawmaker Ilias Panagiotaros (L), party's spokesman and lawmaker Ilias Kasidiaris (C) and party's lawmaker and wife of jailed leader Eleni Zaroulia give a televised press conference in Athens ahead of the EU elections and the second round of local elections, in 2014 .(photo credit: AFP/Louisa Gouliamaki)
Golden Dawn far right party lawmaker Ilias Panagiotaros (L), party's spokesman and lawmaker Ilias Kasidiaris (C) and party's lawmaker and wife of jailed leader Eleni Zaroulia give a televised press conference in Athens ahead of the EU elections and the second round of local elections, in 2014 .(photo credit: AFP/Louisa Gouliamaki)

ATHENS, Greece — A court in Athens has sentenced a far-right lawmaker to six months in prison for using hate speech against immigrants and inciting supporters to violence.

The court Thursday convicted Ilias Kasidiaris, spokesman for the extreme-right Golden Dawn party, following a speech posted online in 2011 by supporters. In it, he refers to immigrants as “human garbage” and called on residents in a low-income area near Athens to take direct action against foreign criminals.

The sentence was suspended for three years. The 36-year-old politician said he was “standing up for Greeks … neglected by the state” and described the conviction as part of a politically orchestrated attack on his party.

Golden Dawn, founded as a neo-Nazi party in early 1980s, came third in Greece’s last general election.

In 2012 Kasidiaris read out in parliament a passage from the anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

In 2014 he was convicted and jailed on illegal firearms charges.

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