Online cat videos have come to be associated with some of the cutest, silliest moments the Internet has to offer. But they can have a dark side too, as a legal sentence handed down in France Monday shows.
(Credit: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)
Farid Ghilas of Marseille was sentenced to a year in prison for of animal cruelty after posting a video to his Facebook profile last week showing him repeatedly hurling a kitten against a building. The video quickly went viral, sparking widespread horror and outrage and even death threats to the perpetrator.
By the time Ghilas took the video down, Facebook users had copied and pasted his profile information; posted his name, address, and phone number on the Web; and created Facebook pages calling for his arrest. The police ended up taking Ghilas into custody less than 24 hours after the video appeared online.
On Monday, just days later, some 200 animal-rights activists, accompanied by about 20 dogs, gathered outside a Marseille criminal court as the 24-year-old man was sentenced on charges of “acts of cruelty against a domestic and tame animal.” The offense carries a maximum prison term of two years and a fine of 30,000 euros (about $ 40,500).
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