A Scottish man was charged with a hate crime after he taught a dog the Nazi salute. He uploaded the video of the trick on YouTube in 2016.
Mark Meerchan,30, recorded a pug performing the Nazi salute and uploaded the video on YouTube. In the video, Meerchan could be heard saying “sieg heil” or “gas the Jews”. He stated he taught the dog the trick in order to annoy his girlfriend, who is the owner of the pug named Buddha.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Meerchan apologized for the video and told police that he doesn’t “actually hate Jewish people” and called the Holocaust “an awful thing”.
Meerchan appeared at the Airdrie Sheriff Court and denied that he did anything wrong. He told Sheriff Derek O’Carroll he initially taught the dog the trick to annoy his girlfriend. O’Carroll found him guilty of a charge under the Communications Act due to the video being ‘anti-Semitic and racist in nature’. He did not believe Meerchan posted the video to annoy his girlfriend and deemed it to be grossly offensive.
“In my view it is a reasonable conclusion that the video is grossly offensive
“The description of the video as humorous is no magic wand.
“This court has taken the freedom of expression into consideration.
“But the right to freedom of expression also comes with responsibility.”
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Sheriff O’Caroll added that Meerchan was aware of the video’s content and knew why it would be offensive. Meerchan’s girlfriend stated that he did not make any anti-Semitic views known to her.Meerchan faces sentencing in April.