The Italian Court of Cassation ruled that a Facebook Like can be interpreted as an apology for terrorism.
A 25 years old Kosovan man was deported for sharing online propaganda in late 2016, reports the Giornale di Brescia.
Gaffur Dibrani had been living in the country for 10 years before being deported. The Interior Ministry said his computer contained "documents and files of jihadist propaganda, as well as contacts with two well-known Islamists". He also had liked propaganda videos on the social network.
Dibrani distanced himself from radical Islam and denied having intentionally shared jihadist propaganda. According to the prosecution, he liked and shared anti-West material on Facebook, including a picture of his two year-old son adorned with the Isis flag. One section of footage showed an Isis fighter asking Allah to "accept him as a martyr" and calling on other men to join the fight in Syria. His lawyer said that he "[hadn't] realised what he had done".
On two occasions prior to the ruling, a Brescia court said that there was not enough evidence against Dibrani, pointing out that: "Evoking holy war does not necessarily result in the creation of organised structures aimed at carrying out terrorist acts." It also stated that he had not made a "clear reference to Isis". As a result, Dibrani walked free two weeks after his arrest.
The Brescia prosecutor appealed his local court's decision to the Court of Cassation. The Court ruled it was "self-evident," that Dibrani has openly praised Isis online, and that the Brescia court of reviews had disregarded his connections with two other suspected extremists.
The Court also ruled that there should be no distinction between someone just clicking "Like" on a propaganda video and actively sharing it. According to the Court, this constitutes the same level of offence.
A video one likes will not end up on their Facebook "wall," but it will appear on their friends' timelines, having the same effect as a share.
The Court of Cassation ruled that Dibrani be immediately deported from Italy.
Since the beginning of 2015, Italy has taken a hard stance on extremism and apology of terrorism. People acting as "remote fighters" for Isis or who recruit on behalf of the terrorists could face up to six years in jail.