Scottish Justice Secretary contacts police over death threats

Scotland’s Justice Secretary has contacted police after receiving death threats from viewers of a right-wing online video.

Aug 21, 2020
By Website Editor
Humza Yousaf

Humza Yousaf said he had contemplated leaving politics over the threats but said he fully intends to stand firm as quitting would hand victory to those who perpetrate hatred.

The threats came after a video was posted on the website of the Canadian right-wing media platform Rebel News, featuring Ezra Levant criticising Mr Yousaf over Scotland’s controversial new hate crime legislation.

The Daily Record reported that the minister then received an email saying he and his family should be “firebombed” and he should be “butchered”.

Mr Yousaf told the newspaper: “I can’t really remember a time when there hasn’t been racist abuse but, generally speaking, it has not been particularly violent or threatening.

“What is different about the recent emails is the clear depiction of violence towards myself and towards my family.

“I know 99 per cent of the time, these are keyboard warriors but the concern is, could there be that 1% that actually are unhinged enough to act upon the threats that they make?

“For the first time, I had the fleeting thought ‘I just don’t know if doing the job I do is worth putting my family at potential risk’.”

Mr Yousaf said he has been left “shaken” by the threats, but added: “I fully intend to stand but it is the first time I’ve contemplated otherwise.”

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Police Scotland can confirm it has received a complaint of offensive communications and inquiries are ongoing.”

Mr Levant has been asked to comment.

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