The comedian David Suárez denies in the trial for his joke about Down syndrome that his intention was to “vex”


The comedian David Suárez has denied this Monday during the trial for his joke about Down syndrome that his intention was to “vex” or “cause harm” to people who have such a condition or their relatives and has defended black humor as a way to make “laugh” with topics considered socially as “taboo”. “The other day they gave me the best blowjob of my life. The secret was that the girl used a lot of drool. Some advantage had to have Down syndrome”, was the comment he published on his Twitter account, in which he was around of 70,000 followers, and that in his day cost him the dismissal of the radio program in which he worked and the cancellation of various shows. The hearing, held at the Provincial Court of Madrid, has been seen for sentencing.


Freedom of expression and vulnerable groups: hate messages from the extreme right reopen the debate on what can or cannot be said

Freedom of expression and vulnerable groups: hate messages from the extreme right reopen the debate on what can or cannot be said

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The Prosecutor’s Office has defended its final conclusions, maintaining the request for one year and ten months in prison that appears in its indictment for a crime against dignity (article 510.2 of the Penal Code). According to the representative of the Public Ministry, the intention of the comedian with this comment was “to humiliate” and it has been ruled out that the “purpose” was “merely humorous.” The prosecutor, who has highlighted the “great repercussion” of the joke due to its dissemination on the social network itself and in the media, has considered the language used “denigrating, provocative and with stereotypes that stigmatize the group of women with Down syndrome” .

The representative of the Prosecutor’s Office recalled that the constitutional doctrine requires taking into account not only the literality of the words, but also their “meaning and intentionality”. And, in his opinion, this comment had an “exclusive motivation regarding these people” that is not protected by freedom of expression. “The joke does not only denote an obvious bad taste, but a not very inclusive social perception,” he added. In addition to the jail sentence, the Public Ministry claims for the accused a fine of 3,000 euros, five years of disqualification from the exercise of an educational profession or trade in the field of teaching, sports or free time and the disqualification for the exercise of his profession on social media during the time of the sentence.

The private accusation exercised by the Plena Inclusión Madrid association, which claims a year and ten months in prison for the comedian, has also raised its conclusions to final and raises the request for a fine to 6,000 euros. The lawyer of the group, who has defined the comment as “rude, uncouth and directly and gratuitously offensive to the dignity of people with Down syndrome”, has insisted that it was not prosecuting a tweet, but the “humiliation” of a collective. “The reproach should not be only ethical, but criminal. Justice has to detail that there are messages that, due to their humiliation of people, vulnerable groups, should be punished ”, he asserted.

On the other hand, the lawyer of the humorist, Isabel Elbal, has denied that there are acts constituting a crime and has requested the acquittal of her client because his message is protected by freedom of expression and artistic creation. As detailed, it is essential to analyze the “purpose” of the message as “context”, the “spirit” and the “intentionality” with which it is done. And he has assured that, in this case, the comment was made with a structure “typical of black humor, which surprises, starts the surprise” and that, in addition, it was published with the profile of a “fictitious character” that Suárez uses as a kind of an “evil” alter ego. Elbal has recalled, for example, that the Constitutional Court has already reproached the Supreme Court in the sentence in which it annulled the conviction of the leader of Def con Dos, César Strawberry, that he had ignored the “context” and the “circumstances” in which they were written the messages for which he had been accused.

“What happens to them is that they don’t like humor. They want their future creation to be censored ”, the lawyer told the accusations. The lawyer has alluded to discouragement effect for freedom of expression that would generate a hypothetical conviction. And he has predicted that “a dangerous gate would open to actions that are incompatible with a democratic state” and would lay the foundations to “create self-censorship and undermine the bases of the democratic system and the dignity of the creative person.” “We have prosecuted a joke,” Elbal lamented.

Witnesses

During the trial, the complainant, Ramón Pina; and the president of the Plena Inclusión Madrid association, Mariano Casado. They both have daughters with Down syndrome. The first has explained that he transferred the facts to the Prosecutor’s Office after receiving the message through “forums” where family members of people with this condition exchange information. Pina has considered the joke as “very unfortunate” for any woman and, even more so, for a woman with Down syndrome, who “is reified” and has explained that behind many of the advances of this group is the fight of many families “There are conquests in which there cannot be a step back,” he asserted. “That message was very negative because it did not reflect the image of women with this syndrome because they are people who struggle to integrate into a society. That vision, with that public relevance, did not reflect reality,” added Casado.

The trial held this Monday is the last episode of a journey that began in May 2019, when the Plena Inclusión Madrid association took the comment to court for a crime against dignity (article 510.2 of the Penal Code). The complaint fell to the Court of Instruction 30 of Madrid, whose owner, Jorge Israel Bartolomé, filed it four months later when he understood that, although the message was “unfortunate, rude, uncouth, disgusting and without any grace”, it could not be considered criminal .

In the magistrate’s opinion, there was no evidence that the tweet – which said that it could “hurt sensitivities” and “provoke reactions”, such as the dismissal of the author – had been spilled “from animosity to the group” and neither that Suárez It will dedicate itself to “repeatedly spreading derogatory messages towards said people.” “The investigated tried to make humor, without weighing the consequences that such an unfortunate phrase could bring him, and that it, far from obtaining recognition and a smile, would cause great rejection and rejection,” he maintains in his resolution.

The Prosecutor’s Office, which at first considered the file to be appropriate, later joined the association’s appeal, personified as a private accusation. The judge himself showed in one of his writings his surprise at the “change of criteria” of the Public Ministry. Finally, the Provincial Court of Madrid ordered in April 2020 to revoke the dismissal of the case considering that it could not be protected by freedom of expression what was “an attack on the dignity of an entire group, through an act of humiliation and direct contempt “. “The expression of an idea is not punished, the expression is punished when it is done in such a way that it involves a call to discrimination” and when “other constitutional values ​​such as human dignity are infringed,” says the resolution of the section second.

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