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Austria: Pro-Palestine activist given suspended sentence

May 3, 2024 at 11:00 am

Activist Michael Probsting

Prominent pro-Palestine activist Michael Probsting, the international secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), was handed a six-month suspended sentence on charges of “incitement” after he failed to delete a video of statements supporting the Palestinian resistance on 7 October, Anadolu agency reported.

Judge Stefan Apostol ruled that, as the media owner of his website and YouTube channel, he was guilty of condoning “terrorist crimes” by refraining from deleting videos in accordance with a provision of the Media Act. He had been charged with “incitement to commit terrorist offences.”

The verdict is not final.

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However, defence lawyer Astrid Wagner told Anadolu that her client made the video statement on the afternoon of 7 October, without knowing all aspects of the incident, adding that the Public Prosecutor’s Office had demonstrated its political bias through the accusations it brought against Probsting.

Lawyer Wagner stated that the statement made by Pröbsting, before he had any information about Israeli civilian victims, was evaluated differently by the prosecution.

“I support the resistance struggle of the Palestinian people. I will continue to do so. My trial was an attempt to criminalise support for Palestine,” Probsting said after the verdict was read.