Spain reminded us today that it had yet to fully shake off the mindset of Franco’s dictatorship:
“Two Spanish cartoonists have been found guilty of offending the royal family and fined 3,000 euros (Â£2,100) each. Their cartoon, on the front page of the weekly satirical magazine El Jueves in July, depicted Crown Prince Felipe and his wife Letizia having sex.
The edition was pulled from newsstands across the country by police. A judge said that El Jueves’ Guillermo Torres and Manel Fontdevila “had vilified the crown in the most gratuitous and unnecessary way”.
Not that Britain has anything to be proud about, given that it is increasing restricting freedom of speech. At least we do not have this law:
“Slandering or defaming the Spanish royal family can carry a sentence of up to two years in prison.”
As a staunch monarchist, this seems to me the worst sort of law. Our monarchy has been through some turbulent times recently, but it has survived and is now thriving because the public has been free to criticise it. Spain should repeal this law now, if it wants its royal family to carry on.
A timely reminder that freedom of speech, despite our protestations, is not all that secure and sacred in Europe.
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Filed in: Civil liberties,Current affairs