The Hearing of Malaga has confirmed the sentence imposed by a crime against religious feelings to the woman accused of participating in the public display, as a procession, of the image of a plastic vagina dressed as if it were a virgin during the manifestation of Women’s Day on March 8, 2013 in Malaga and express proclamations, in what was called the procession of the ‘chumino rebelde’. Thus, the appeal presented by the defense is dismissed and the penalty of a fine of 2,700 euros is maintained.
The judgment of the Hearing, to which EP has had access, maintains proven that the defendant participated in that demonstration by 8M, which was admitted by her in the trial; dressed “with a comb and with a large candle in her hand, she carried, in the company of other unidentified people who wore tunics, mantillas or combs, which seems like a imitation of a step of Easter whose image is a vagina “made of plastic.
The procession came to a halt in front of the Cathedral and the Episcopal Palace, the accused carrying the throne at that time, “who, in the company of the other participants, issued proclamations such as’we are going to burn, we are going to burn the Episcopal Conference ‘“During the act, the defendant not only wore the giant vagina,” but out loud, she read, using her mobile, a text “based on the Creed, but modified, according to the resolution now confirmed.
The Appeals Chamber notes that it is “undeniable” that in a democratic state of law, “freedom of expression has a constitutive and essential character when it is a manifestation of the right to participate in the formation of the political will of the community in such conditions, being able, therefore, to have a hierarchy superior to other rights also constitutionally protected “. But, he adds that “neither Article 20 of the Constitution nor Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights make an absolute and unconditional proclamation of the right to freedom of expression, but rather admits limits to its exercise due to the need to respect the other rights that the Constitution itself“, pointing out that it is necessary to analyze if it conflicts with these.
In this regard, it considers that “neither the reference to parts of the body and the pleasurable effects of some of them, nor the ridiculed version of the prayers of the Creed and the Hail Mary, nor the reference to the burning of the Episcopal Conference, branded as macho and patriarchal, It can be understood that they pursued the aforementioned interest “in the defense of abortion and feminism, considering these expressions as” unnecessary “for criticism or information.
Therefore, the Court of the Third Section indicates that “there are no objectified facts in which to sustain the prevalence of the right to freedom of expression over freedom of religion and worship and its safeguarding of actions likely to be taken as derision of motivating beliefs of offense of religious feelings“, indicating that it is not possible to hide behind the alleged right to express oneself freely.
“It cannot be maintained in any way that the accused acted guided by a public and collective interest of the critic, but with the intention or purpose of vilify or mock religious sentiments of the members of the Catholic Church, “says the resolution, pointing to an” excess in their use “of freedom of expression that” makes the injury to the right of the aforementioned members of the Catholic Church unnecessary and intolerant. ”
From the defense of the defendant, her lawyer has regretted the sentence and has considered that “set a dangerous precedent in terms of establishing the limits of freedom of expression “, for which he has ensured that the extraordinary resources that may proceed will be studied. Thus, he has indicated that it is” our responsibility to reach the last instances in order to defend that in at all times the events were carried out in the exercise of the right to freedom of expression and there was no intention in any way to offend religious sentiments. ”
Likewise, the lawyer has said that they regret “that today the Criminal Code still classifies offenses against religious feelings as a crime,” indicating that “this is what allows sentences of this type to be accommodated by what reform in this regard is urgently needed. ”
For her part, the president of Abogados Cristianos, Polonia Castellanos, the organization that presented the initial complaint, has assured that “with this case it is proven that the protection of religious feelings that regulate practically all the countries of the EU “.” If attacks of this type are allowed, we will not be able to live in democracy when there is not a minimum respect for Catholics, “he concluded.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.