A SPANISH woman has been fined for calling a dead matador an “assassin.”
A Spanish woman has been fined for calling a dead matador an “assassin”, according to MSN news. The controversial ruling of Spain’s Constitutional Court fined a left-wing former mayor €7,000 for labelling a bullfighter a “murderer”.
Datxu Peris has been ordered to pay compensation to the widow and family of the matador, Victor Barrio, for violating his right of honour. In 2016, Barrio was the first bullfighter to be killed in 30 years when he was bludgeoned to death after being struck by the bulls horn in a fight that was broadcast live on television. In the hours following his death, Peris wrote on social media platform, Facebook, that she was “positive” that Barrio was left to die because he was an “assassin”.
Peris was not the only person to celebrate the matadors death, with opponents of bullfighting celebrating the death on social media. This reaction goes to show how the radical anti-bullfighting movement is gaining more momentum in Spain.
However, the then Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, and King Felipe VI paid tribute to the matador, and the widow began a legal battle to punish those who had celebrated his death – this was done under a Spanish law that states that the family of a deceased person has the right to defend their honour in their memory.
In the court, Peris defended her comments, saying that she was exercising her constitutional right to freedom of expression as someone who does not agree with bullfighting. However, Judge Santiago Martínez Vares argued that calling someone a “murderer” is not considered proper use of freedom of expression, calling the comments “ “unnecessary, disproportionate and lacking any link to the exercise of the right to freedom of expression”.
“To publicly defend an anti-bullfighting position, it is not necessary to describe Victor Barrio as a murderer or oppressor on social media and show relief over his death.
“Freedom of expression cannot be an instrument to undermine the dignity of a human being since it stands as the foundation of political order and social peace.”
Following the sentencing, Peris argued “You can call a bullfighter a killer but you cannot say he is a murderer when he murders,” she said during an interview with Publico, a Spanish newspaper.
“I didn’t say the death of (Barrio) was positive. I said that there were many negative aspects to his death but there was one positive, that this man stops killing. The sad thing is that to stop killing he has had to go to these extremes. I never said that his death was positive,” adding that she would say the same things again.