Holocaust denier Alison Chabloz appeals conviction for antisemitic songs

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Holocaust denier Alison Chabloz appeals conviction for antisemitic songs

Activist who described the Shoah as 'a bunch of lies' challenges 2018 ruling relating to the broadcasting of offensive material

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

A 2018 photo of Alison Chabloz leaving Westminster Magistrates' Court, London

Photo credit: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
A 2018 photo of Alison Chabloz leaving Westminster Magistrates' Court, London Photo credit: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

The far-right activist Alison Chabloz, convicted last year of several offences relating to the broadcasting of antisemitic songs, appeared at Southwark Crown Court on Monday to launch an appeal against her conviction.

Chabloz, 55, from Glossop, Derbyshire, received a two-year suspended prison sentence in June 2018 after a lengthy series of appearances at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. At issue were three antisemitic songs which she had written and performed, all relating to aspects of the Holocaust. She described the Holocaust as “a bunch of lies” and Auschwitz as a “theme park”.

But on Monday Chabloz, who now prefers to be known as Alison Chabloz-Tyrer, appealed against her conviction — and her appeal will effectively mean that much of the evidence raised in Westminster will be heard again. She is expected to give evidence on her own account, videos of her songs will be played, and two officials from the Campaign Against Antisemitism, Gideon Falter and Stephen Silverman, are due to give testimony.

Initially, however, in front of Judge Christopher Hehir, lawyers for the prosecution and defence argued points of law relating to whether Chabloz’s original convictions — that of “sending or causing to be sent” the “grossly offensive” material were admissible under the relevant 2003 Communications Act.

James Mulholland, QC, for the Crown Prosecution Service, locked horns with Chabloz’s defence barrister, Adrian Davies, as to whether her songs — two performed in front of the London Forum, a group of far-right nationalists, in September 2016, and a third which she uploaded onto YouTube — fell into the appropriate wording of the Act for the purposes of proceeding with her appeal.

Mr Davies argued that since the London Forum songs were not uploaded by Chabloz herself, but that she had embedded a hyperlink to them on her own blog, that did not constitute “causing to be sent”. But Judge Hehir observed: “If she puts a hyperlink on her blog she plays a more than trivial part” in causing those songs to be viewed.

The judge did not accept Mr Davies’ challenge on Chabloz’s behalf and so the appeal will continue in front of him and two lay magistrates.

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