The Merseyside Police Department in England has issued a statement warning social media users that their posts about Alfie Evans, a baby caught up in a legal battle over whether or not his parents can continue to provide treatment to keep him alive, “are being monitored and may be acted upon.”
What's the background on the Alfie Evans case?
Just a month short of his second birthday, Alfie was taken off life support at the Alder Hey Children's Hospital. He was born with a rare neurological condition that left him in a “semi-vegetative state.”
After being in the hospital since December 2016, Alfie had his life support removed on Monday. That same day, the European Court of Human Rights rejected an appeal from his parents to keep Alfie alive.
With the support of Pope Francis, the Italian Defense Ministry prepared to fly Alfie and his parents to the Vatican’s Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital in Rome. The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs even granted Alfie citizenship, in the hopes that this would bring about an “immediate transfer to Italy.”
However, justices on Britain’s Supreme Court ruled that the family could not take Alfie to Italy since they viewed that move as pointless. Justice [Anthony] Hayden, who sits on the High Court, dismissed the Italian citizenship, saying, "Alfie is a British citizen, he is undoubtedly habitually resident in the U.K. He falls therefore under the jurisdiction of the High Court."
Lord Justice [Andrew] McFarlane at the Court of Appeal also accused Alfie's father, Tom Evans, of "hostility" toward the United Kingdom's National Health Service, after Tom Evans threatened to prosecute three doctors involved in the situation for "conspiracy to murder."
What did the police say today?
Merseyside is an English county that includes Liverpool, where the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital is located.
The full statement, which was posted on the department’s Facebook page, reads:
“We've issued the following statement following reports of social media posts being made in relation to Alder Hey Hospital and the ongoing situation with Alfie Evans:
“Chief Inspector Chris Gibson said: “Merseyside Police has been made aware of a number of social media posts which have been made with reference to Alder Hey Hospital and the ongoing situation involving Alfie Evans.
“‘I would like to make people aware that these posts are being monitored and remind social media users that any offences including malicious communications and threatening behaviour will be investigated and where necessary will be acted upon.’”