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Insulting Catholics in Poland can get you 2 years in jail?


rybnik 18 | 1,461
30 Jun 2011 #1
Is this true? I just read an article about this frontman, Nergal(sp) for a band called Behemoth. About 15 years ago in Gdynia he allegedly called the Catholic Church a "murderous cult". For that he's looking at 2 years in jail! Really? Do other EU countries have similar laws on their books?
alexw68
30 Jun 2011 #2
No law as such.

In 2007, the All-Polish Committee for Defense Against Sects distributed a list of bands that allegedly promote satanism and murder to many Polish officials. Much as in the 80s and 90s when US courts routinely threw out alleged cases of satanic messages in Michael Jackson or Black Sabbath records this isn't going to get a hearing, and Behemoth have been playing Poland freely in the meantime.

In case you hadn't heard, Behemoth are defunct for a quite different reason - Adam Darski, the real name behind Nergal, was diagnosed with leukaemia last year.
guesswho 4 | 1,289
30 Jun 2011 #3
Is this true?

Who knows but to be honest, despite the freedom of expression, why would anyone insult any religion? Just ain't cool. If one should be punished for that is another story.
OP rybnik 18 | 1,461
30 Jun 2011 #4
Adam Darski, the real name behind Nergal, was diagnosed with leukaemia last year.

I read he "beat" his illness after having rec'vd a BM transplant and chemo.
Monia
30 Jun 2011 #5
That`s correct ( art. 196 of Penal Code ) - a penalisation up to 2 years in prison refers to offending religious feelings in general ( which means any religion ) .

he allegedly called the Catholic Church a "murderous cult"

This statement is enough to investigate a case . But if it was said 15 years ago , time limitation clause may apply . But I can`t comment without knowing any facts .
OP rybnik 18 | 1,461
30 Jun 2011 #6
This statement is enough to investigate a case . But if it was said 15 years ago , time limitation clause may apply . But I can`t comment without knowing any facts .

I'm having a difficult time understanding why the government needs to muzzle speech like this.
alexw68
30 Jun 2011 #7
This statement is enough to investigate a case .

It is if it caused a significant (whatever that means) degree of public outrage - that's implied in the 'offence to religious feelings' part of this, it's not enough that one self-appointed guardian of the public morals spots it and creates an artificial storm.

Statute of Limitations is 7 years, no?
Monia
30 Jun 2011 #8
Naming a catholic church as " murderous cult " is for sure offensive , and the state can`t tolerate a freedom of speach which was in my opinion breached in this case . A public statement can`t contain a language which is offensive and derogatory .
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384
30 Jun 2011 #9
A public statement can`t contain a language which is offensive and derogatory .

so we can only say nice things, right ?
Monia
30 Jun 2011 #10
It is 5 years in this case .
OP rybnik 18 | 1,461
30 Jun 2011 #11
so we can only say nice things, right ?

Apparently............So who decides if something said is offensive?
Monia
30 Jun 2011 #12
Yeah , right , just nice and the world around us will be a better place to live :).

Apparently............So who decides if something said is offensive?

It is left to decide to a prosecutor`s common sense :).
alexw68
30 Jun 2011 #13
a prosecutor`s common sense

An oxymoron, if ever there was one.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
30 Jun 2011 #14
What an absurd situation. It is not an offence for jailing people for. Context plays a major part.
George8600 10 | 636
30 Jun 2011 #15
I wonder what would happen if we send Richard Dawkins to Poland.
Monia
30 Jun 2011 #16
It is not an offence for jailing people for. Context plays a major part.

Yes , but 2 years of imprisonment for this misdemeanour is only imposed in cases of extreme violation , in most cases a fine is imposed . The penalties for such act are : a fine , a restriction of liberty and an imprisonment min 30 days up to 2 years .

Don`t worry any Polish judge would sentence him so harshly :)
modafinil - | 418
30 Jun 2011 #17
I wonder what would happen if we send Richard Dawkins to Poland.

Possibly, he may insinuate that the law enforcers are the Catholic wing of the Taliban.
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
30 Jun 2011 #18
I wonder what would happen if we send Richard Dawkins to Poland.

As far as I know he's been here at least twice. And the Polish Society of Atheists and Humanists seems to be thriving.

in most cases a fine is imposed

In 'most cases'? How many successful and unappealed convictions do you know of?
Barney 15 | 1,476
30 Jun 2011 #19
Possibly, he may insinuate that the law enforcers are the Catholic wing of the Taliban.

This is actually happening, the blasphemy law in Pakistan and the consequences have been defended by quoting among others, Ireland’s recent change in the law.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
30 Jun 2011 #20
That's reassuring, Monia. I thought the Sharia Law model was being copied for a moment there :) Would I be looking at 2 years for calling a nun a penguin? I've always wanted to do that but I respect their work to a certain extent.
Harry
1 Jul 2011 #21
Naming a catholic church as " murderous cult " is for sure offensive , and the state can`t tolerate a freedom of speach which was in my opinion breached in this case . A public statement can`t contain a language which is offensive and derogatory .

You mean, for example, a public statement calling somebody whose registered business activity includes, for the sake of example, educational services a 'child molester'? Would that be a public statement which contains contains language which is offensive and derogatory? Do give us the benefit of your professional experience as a member of the bar association. Personally I'd guess that the association wouldn't approve of a member accusing somebody of crimes which they hadn't committed. But perhaps some bar association member is desperate to find that out, eh Moania?
OP rybnik 18 | 1,461
2 Jul 2011 #22
I know I'll probably **** a few of you off but I have to ask. Why is the Polish sensibility so fragile that it needs such laws on the books? How does calling the Catholic Church a murderous cult, (which it certainly was - Spanish inquisition) really hurt anybody? Just askin'.
guesswho 4 | 1,289
2 Jul 2011 #23
How does calling the Catholic Church a murderous cult

to be fair, why is it necessary to hurt other people feelings? You know what religions mean to many people (unless an atheist) in general, why provoke anyone? It doesn't really matter if you believe or not but showing respect to other people and their beliefs is a first step to be respected too.
OP rybnik 18 | 1,461
2 Jul 2011 #24
I fully understand I really do. But I have a problem with legislating good manners. You either have them or you don't.
ender 5 | 398
2 Jul 2011 #25
Why is the Polish sensibility so fragile that it needs such laws on the books? How does calling the Catholic Church a murderous cult,

Read with understanding. Any religion, means also fanatic religion such as Judaism and Islam..

That`s correct ( art. 196 of Penal Code ) - a penalisation up to 2 years in prison refers to offending religious feelings in general ( which means any religion ) .

guesswho 4 | 1,289
2 Jul 2011 #26
You either have them or you don't.

Don't you think that people that have them, are simply forced sometimes to react differently when facing arrogant remarks and insults? Some people, no matter how much you try to be nice and well mannered, don't appreciate that and pick on you (this way or another) until you retaliate using the only language they understand.
OP rybnik 18 | 1,461
2 Jul 2011 #27
what happened to "sticks and stones". Why can't Poles just shrug it off and say "Oh it's just another crackpot. Don't pay any attention"?
guesswho 4 | 1,289
2 Jul 2011 #28
To me, it's not about Poles, it's about religion in general.
OP rybnik 18 | 1,461
2 Jul 2011 #29
please elaborate
guesswho 4 | 1,289
2 Jul 2011 #30
Look, we all know that Poles (most of them) love their religion and we know how important it is to them. It's obvious that criticizing their religion will make them "fight" for it. We all "fight" for what we love and believe.


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