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JK Rowling's Trans Comments 'Not Criminal' Under Scotland's New Hate Crime Law, Police Say

JK Rowling
JK Rowling Andrew Milligan - PA Images via Getty Images

Police in Scotland have said JK Rowling will not face criminal charges after the author challenged officers to arrest her under new hate crime laws.

On Monday, the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act came into force amid concerns about how it will be policed and the impact on free speech.

A new offence has been created against stirring up hatred against protected characteristics including age, disability, religion, sexual orientation and transgender identity.

On X, Rowling dared the police to arrest her under the new act after making a series of posts on social media calling trans women men, including convicted prisoners, trans activists and other public figures.

“I’m currently out of the country, but if what I’ve written here qualifies as an offence under the terms of the new act, I look forward to being arrested when I return to the birthplace of the Scottish Enlightenment,” Rowling wrote on Monday.

On Tuesday, a Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We have received complaints in relation to the social media post.

“The comments are not assessed to be criminal and no further action will be taken.”

Rowling, who lives in Scotland, has been heavily involved in a battle with the transgender community, which accuses her of being transphobic. The author denies the accusation, saying she wants to defend women’s rights.

Following the statement from the force, Rowling wrote on X: “I hope every woman in Scotland who wishes to speak up for the reality and importance of biological sex will be reassured by this announcement, and I trust that all women – irrespective of profile or financial means – will be treated equally under the law.”

Scotland’s first minister Humza Yousaf said the new law would deal with a “rising tide of hatred”.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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