Police Don’t Consider Calling Women Activists Prostitutes As Hate Speech

Former GWU boss Tony Zarb will be charged in court for 'prostitute' insult, but not on hate speech grounds

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The police will not charge former General Workers’ Union boss Tony Zarb with hate speech after he described a group of women who had protested outside Castille as prostitutes. 

The Womens’ Rights Foundation’s director Lara Dimitrijevic, who had reported Zarb to the police for hate speech last October, said the police have informed her they do not consider the former union stalwart’s comment to be hate speech. Instead, they will press charges against Zarb for “misuse of electronic equipment” - a crime punishable by a maximum €23,290 fine or a six-month jail sentence. Newsbook reported the court case will kick off on 1st February.  

“Needless to say, as women, we are very hurt by this decision to see that such offensive comments directed specifically at women are not deemed to be derogatory, demeaning and discriminatory, thus implying that such use of language is permissible and tolerated in our society,” the WRF said in a Facebook post. 

Zarb drew outcry last October when he wrote a Facebook status describing a group of women from the Occupy Justice pressure group as prostitutes after they protested outside Castille in the wake of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination. Following the outcry, Zarb deleted his Facebook status and publicly apologised to “genuine women who might not have liked what I had written”. 

Do you agree with the police's interpretation of Tony Zarb's comments? 

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Tim Diacono

Tim Diacono tends to clam up when asked to describe himself. You can contact him on [email protected]