Spanish songwriter Javier Krahe taken to court for “offending religious feelings”
(This is a joint effort of several people to provide an article in English on the case against Krahe by translating this article published on Público on May 21st. To the extent of our knowledge, there is no English coverage of this attempt against freedom of speech yet. Please help us spread the news.)
“Let’s take a gaunt Christ for every two persons. Remove the spikes and take the body from the cross, which will be left aside. The stigmas can be stuffed with bacon. Uncrust with warm water and dry carefuly. Abundant butter will be spread on the Christ, which will be then placed on an ovenproof dish, over a bed of onions. Spread over it some salt and pepper, other spices and fine herbs can be added to suit your taste. The mixture is to be left in a moderate fire oven for three days, after which He will get out on his own.”
The parody was written by Javier Krahe for a short 54 seconds video recorded in Super 8. The songwriter explains that he recorded it in 1978 “to be shown at home to a few friends”. It could now cost him 192.000 euros. That is the amount that the Centro de Estudios Jurídicos Tomás Moro (Thomas More Law Studies Center) is claiming. They will bring the artist to court over the next months (Juzgado de Instrucción número 3 of Colmenar Viejo, in Madrid).
The video was not broadcast
The catholic organisation was enraged when the TV program Lo+Plus (in Canal+) referred to the video in 2005, while the author was being interviewed. The claimant organisation, whose motto is “Christianizing law, Christianizing society” understands that the short film attacks their religious feelings, a crime as described in Article 525 of the Spanish legal code.
That organisation also charges the director of the TV program, Montserrat Fernández Villa, who is asked for a bail of 144.000 euros. Both she and Krahe were astonished yesterday by the prosecution. “We didn’t air the video. Just some frames of it were displayed in the background while the last question of the interview was being answered.”, says Fernández Villa. The program apologized a few days later, after receiving some complaining calls.
“I don’t understand why they press charges against Krahe. He went there to be interviewed, he did not know the questions that were to be asked, and he isn’t responsible for the contents of the show”, wonders Fernández Villa. Krahe himself seemed confident that the lawsuit will not succeed. “My lawyer estimates that the trial will not be held before Christmas, but we believe the case will be dismissed due to insufficient arguments”, explained the singer.
Once the beginning of the trial was known, a Facebook group was created in support of Krahe under the name “Me – I eat Christ raw”, which hundreds joined in a few hours.