FOR the first time in Quebec, an RCMP investigation has led to charges of advocating genocide being laid against a Boucherville resident. André Audet, 62, has been charged in connection with threats published online. His statements were directed at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Muslim community, the RCMP announced on Monday.
The charges stem from a brief investigation conducted by the RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) after receiving information about disturbing online posts. It is presumed that Audet used a variety of pseudonyms on a number of social media networks. The investigators identified approximately 100 hate posts, threats and/or posts inciting violence in the targeted accounts. For example, the accused called for the death of Justin Trudeau and encouraged the eradication of Muslims.
Audet previously appeared in court in December 2019 in relation to the same investigation. A full analysis of the evidence led to new charges being laid. The accused was to appear at the Longueuil courthouse on Monday.
– Advocating genocide
– Public incitement of hatred
– Willful promotion of hatred
– Intimidation of a justice system participant or a journalist
The RCMP said they take seriously any threats that can affect one’s sense of security. Violent statements will not be tolerated. The perpetrators may face criminal charges involving significant sentences. Such incidents must be reported if they are to combat this type of crime.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) said it recognizes with approval the historic charges laid by the RCMP against Audet.
“Advocating for genocide is egregious and an extreme form of hate speech. Statements directing violence towards our community, or any community, cannot be tolerated” said NCCM’s Director of Legal Affairs, Sameha Omer, “These charges, laid for the first time in Quebec’s history, send an important message. In the aftermath of the Quebec City Mosque attack, where the attacker was consulting hateful online content before the attack, we believe that this is an important step”.