Picture (Toben at
Auschwitz) added by this website
Website ordered to stop denying
By MIKE CORDER,
SYDNEY, Australia (October 10, 2000) -
A government-funded commission
ordered a Web site in Australia on Tuesday to stop
publishing material that questions whether the
Holocaust really occurred and the use of gas
chambers at Auschwitz.
A prominent Jewish group welcomed the decision,
but the site's owner said he would defy it.
Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission
outlawed the material and ordered Frederick
Toben to remove it from the Web site of a
private group called the Adelaide Institute. Toben
is the institute's director.
The ruling marked the first time the commission
ordered material removed from the Net.
Although the commission has no enforcement
powers, if Toben refuses to comply he could be
prosecuted and jailed for contempt.
In its ruling, the commission branded as
"bullying, insulting and offensive" claims on the
Web site that the Holocaust amounted to nothing
more than allegations and assertions by Jews.
Millions of Jews died in Nazi death camps during
World War II.
The Adelaide Institute claims to examine "the
truth about historical events, especially those
connected with World War II and the Holocaust." Its
Web site questions if there ever were gas chambers
at Auschwitz, one of the main Nazi camps.
Kathleen McEvoy, the head of the Human
Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission, ordered
the institute to remove the material on grounds
that its main purpose was to humiliate and
denigrate Jewish people.
"In public discourse there is a need to balance
rights and responsibilities," she said. "It is
never appropriate to victimize people of a certain
race in the name of freedom of speech."
Toben was also ordered to apologize to
Australia's Jewish community.
In a telephone interview, he told The Associated
Press that he would not remove the material from
his Web site and was prepared to go to jail if
found guilty of contempt of court.
"I find the procedure was immoral," he said.
Hundreds of extremist sites exist on the
Internet today, ranging from neo-Nazi alliances,
the Ku Klux Klan, groups that hate gays and
lesbians, conspiracy theorists and Holocaust denial
The online posting of Holocaust denials and
other material considered to incite racial and
ethnic hatred is illegal in a number of countries,
including Germany and France. But because the
Internet is global and borderless, such laws are
circumvented.© Copyright 2000
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