Man Fined for Hate Crime After Filming Pug’s ‘Nazi Salutes’

A Scottish man who filmed a pet dog giving Nazi salutes and uploaded the footage to YouTube has been fined £800 (around $1,120). Mark Meechan, who goes by the name of Count Dankula on his social-media pages, recorded his girlfriend’s pug responding to statements such as “Sieg Heil” and “Gas the Jews” by raising its paw. Meechan, from Coatbridge in Scotland, was found guilty last month of committing a hate crime and was in court to hear his sentence Monday. His case has been taken up by free-speech campaigners and comedians such as Ricky Gervais, who tweeted last month: “A man has been convicted in a UK court of making a joke that was deemed ‘grossly offensive.’ If you don’t believe in a person’s right to say things that you might find ‘grossly offensive,’ then you don’t believe in Freedom of Speech.” Meechan has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, saying he made the video to annoy his girlfriend.