Behemoth Singer Nergal Receives Support From European Commission in Blasphemy Case
Earlier this week it was reported that Behemoth frontman Adam "Nergal" Darski could be facing some jail time in Poland after ripping up a bible and calling the Catholic church "the most murderous cult on the planet" onstage during the band's performance in Gdynia. But it turns out that the vocalist may have an ally in the European Commission, who have weighed in on Poland's national blasphemy law.
According to the EU Observer, the European Commission has stated that the prosecution of a rock group for "blasphemy" is against European values. They added in a written letter that "national blasphemy laws are a matter for the domestic legal order of the member states." The letter also stated that EU countries must respect international pacts.
The European Commission cited the European Convention of Human Rights that Poland had signed about the freedom of expression, which explains, "This right protects not only information or ideas that are favorably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also those that offend, shock and disturb."
“[The decision] is negative and restricts the freedom of speech,” stated Nergal’s attorney Jacek Potulski to Reuters. “The court decided that this is allowed in a democratic system. We are still arguing that we were dealing with art, which allows more critical and radical statements.” The case will now be taken to a smaller court for another trial.