Polish newspaper editor convicted for criticizing Pope

[JURIST] Jerzy Urban, editor-in-chief of the Polish weekly newspaper Nie [official site in Polish], was convicted by a court in Warsaw Tuesday for criticizing Pope John Paul II [BBC profile]. Jerzy was found guilty of insulting a head of state, and was fined $6,500. In his 2002 article, titled "Walking Sadomasochism", Urban referred to the Pope's as "the Brezhnev of the Vatican" and an "impotent old man". Urban insisted he was merely exercising freedom of expression, protected under Article 54 of the Polish Constitution [official government site, English translation]. The press freedom group Reporters Without Borders [official site] said the case would set a "dangerous precedent" for a European Union state. BBC has more.

 

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