Burning a poppy on Remembrance Day will get you arrested in Britain, as one teen is facing charges for posting one picture of a paper poppy catching fire, on Facebook.According to a report by Kent Police, relayed by the Mirror, a 19-year-old man from Canterbury was arrested under the ominously phrased “Malicious Communications Act.”
“A man is due to be interviewed by police this morning following reports that a picture of a burning poppy had been posted on a social media website.
“Officers were contacted at around 4pm yesterday and alerted to the picture, which was reportedly accompanied by an offensive comment.
“Following an investigation by Kent Police, a 19-year-old Canterbury man was arrested on suspicion of an offense under the Malicious Communications Act. He is currently in custody," the police statements reads.
The poppy is the official Remembrance day symbol in Britain, an occasion honoring all those that served in the UK armed forces and lost their lives in the line of duty.
The unnamed teenager wasn't actually burning a poppy, he was lighting fire to a paper flower, and he didn't actually get arrested for burning it, he was charged after posting the image online. Many are calling his arrest a witch hunt, as well as a violation of his basic civil rights, notably his right to free speech.
“Kent Police need to urgently release this man and drop an utterly ridiculous investigation into something that has harmed no-one. [...] It is not illegal to offend people and, however idiotic or insensitive the picture may have been, it is certainly not worthy of arrest,” Big Brother Watch civil liberties advocates argue.
Another daredevil was arrested on Remembrance day-related charges yesterday, November 11. Jose Paulo Da Silveria actually attended the Bristol commemoration festivity dressed as a devil, arriving on his skateboard. He was quickly apprehended and placed into custody, not before crowds could shout “rip his head off” at officers.