Man arrested for burning poppy

A man was arrested last night after he posted a video of himself burning a poppy on a social networking site, sparking outrage among civil liberties campaigners.

Kent police said a man from Aylesham was arrested on suspicion of malicious telecommunications, suggesting the act of uploading the video of the poppy burning prompted police involvement rather than the act itself.

He is currently in custody awaiting interview.

The announcement of the arrest triggered a massive backlash online.

"Kent Police need to urgently release this man and drop an utterly ridiculous investigation into something that has harmed no-one," said Nick Pickles, director of civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch.

"It is not illegal to offend people and, however idiotic or insensitive the picture may have been, it is certainly not worthy of arrest."

Musician and comedian Tim Minchin tweeted: "You've a right to burn a (fake!) poppy. Whether I agree with the action is utterly irrelevant. Kent Police are out of line."

Last year an extremist Muslim group sparked outrage when it burned poppies on Remembrance Sunday.

Emdadur Choudhury, who burned the poppy, was fined £50.