Friday, May 06, 2005
Italy Indymedia Offensive Again
Pope Benedict XVI dressed in a Nazi uniform [and] was told to suspend its activities on Wednesday for offending the Roman Catholic religion, court officials said.
Rome prosecutors accuse the Indymedia Italia site, which is part of a network of alternative media websites, of causing offense to the Catholic religion by publishing the photo montage alongside the caption "Nazi pope".
Under Italian law, the offense is punishable by up to one year in jail.
The website, which is registered under the name of a Brazilian-based company, Indipendent Media Center, was still online Wednesday evening and showing the controversial image despite the court ruling.
Italy's largest press union, FNSI, slammed the decision as an "unacceptable attack on critical and satirical freedom".
"Indymedia publishes without any form of censorship any kind of electronic message -- that is the basis of its editorial policy," said the FNSI's secretary general, Paolo Serventi Longhi.
"I do not agree with the message's content, in fact I find it very serious, but press freedom cannot be called into question," he added.
Agriculture Minister Gianni Alemanno, a member of the conservative National Alliance, hailed the decision to ban the site, arguing that Indymedia Italia had "reached a pinnacle of offensiveness and vulgarity".
Why would anyone think that?
This has turned into a front-page Italy Indymedia discussion on freedom of speech. This is despite the obviously hateful (or simply unintelligent and childish) nature of the material as reported.
Here it is. "Critical and satirical"? Give me a break.
I wonder how many Italy Indymedia readers would claim they'd defend to the death someone's right to post such crap however condemn daily, soldiers who actually do defend such rights against real problems.
My previous thoughts on the Pope and Nazis here. Leave the guy alone!