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Hungary: Newspaper fined over a satirical cartoon

26 July 2021
Image: Pexels from Pixabay

 

The Budapest Metropolitan Court convicted newspaper Népszava on 3 June 2021, after the publication of a cartoon deemed as “insulting for Christian community”, reported Cartooning for Peace.

According to Media.hu, the complaint was filed by the Christian Democratic People’s Party’s (KDNP) member Imre Vejkey in April 2020, claiming that the cartoon created by Gábor Pápai is “mocking Jesus” and “insulting the Christian community”.

The Court accepted the verdict in the second instance in accordance with Article IX (5) of the Fundamental Law, and ordered the newspaper to pay 400,000 HUF (around 1,140 EUR) to Vejkey. The newspaper was also ordered to cover the court costs and to publish an apology on the front page.

Pápai’s handwritten apology was published on 25 June 2021. 

The cartoon depicts the Chief Medical Officer of Hungary, Cecília Müller, claiming that Jesus died of some underlying disease.

Cartooning For Peace reports that the newspaper appealed to the Supreme Court (Kúria) against the decision to condemn the cartoon’s publication. 

According to Freemuse’s research, the actions of politically dissenting artists were reported to be under state scrutiny for their lawful expression. 

 

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