The girl who received 100,000 hate messages and death threats for criticizing Islam

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Thirteen people will be tried in France for the online abuse of a teenage girl who posted videos critical of Islam. Ten men and three women, aged between 18 and 30, were due to appear in court in Paris on Thursday, with eight accused of making death threats against the girl.

The young Mila has received 100,000 hate messages after a video on Instagram, which she criticized and which went viral, according to her lawyer. He posted another video on TikTok in November.

Mila, who was 16 years old when she posted her first video and is now 18, is known by her first name in France. Its history has reopened the debate on freedom of speech as well as the protection of children from cyberbullying.

A teacher was killed last October near his school on the outskirts of Paris, a few days after he showed his sketches Prophet Muhammad in the classroom to discuss freedom of expression.

“It is the first time in the history of this country that a young woman of this age is under 24-hour police protection”, Richard Malka’s lawyer told France Info radio.

Shortly before the trial, the teenager posted a message asking for support: “Together let us refuse to live in fear.”

Her lawyer said his client had been forced to hide after online abuse, sexist or homophobic to a large extent. “What is creepy and scary about this case is that they are not delinquent or fanatical. “All of them have a clear criminal record.”

Many of them said they were surprised that they were being prosecuted “for a single tweet”, even though they had used fake online names.

In October, a 23-year-old man was sentenced to three years in prison for cyber-death threats against Mila, according to the BBC.

The teenager was forced to change schools after the posting of her original video. Ever since the second video was posted on TikTok is taught at home due to fears for its safety.

After Mila’s initial comments, in which she described the Islam as “a religion of hate”, two opposing hashtags appeared: #JeSuisMila and #JeNeSuisPasMila.

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke in favor of the girl, stressing that in France “we have the right to curse”. A book by Mila with these experiences is expected to be published this month, entitled “I am the price of your freedom”.

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