‘El Jueves’ editor appears in court over allegations of slander
The allegations to the satirical magazine were brought by the Spanish riot police
The El Jueves magazine has a long history of publishing satirical and humorous news – more than 40 years, to be exact. But a piece published on October 4 about Spanish riot police in Catalonia has recently landed the publication in hot water, with accusations of slander by a Spanish police union.
The piece, titled ‘The continued presence of riot police uses up cocaine reserves in Catalonia,’ refers to the law enforcement dispatched to Barcelona and other Catalan cities for the October 1 referendum vote. The Spanish law enforcement saw this as an accusation, and in turn took the magazine to court. Indeed, editor of El Jueves, Guille Martínez was summoned to testify on November 8.
“For reasons unknown to us this has ended up with a complaint by the Spanish police”
Guille Martínez · Editor of El Jueves magazine
Martínez: “It's one of the many fictitious news pieces in the section”
Martínez stated that he and the rest of the magazine’s staff are “surprised” because the article in question was “fictitious” news, like so many others they publish. “It's one of the many fictitious news pieces in the section,” Martínez explained, “for reasons unknown to us this has ended up with a complaint by the Spanish police.”
He agreed that anyone can file a complaint if they believe that their rights have been violated, but noted that at El Jueves they are “very calm” because what they have done is “not slander.” In fact, he has promised that the magazine “will remain the same,” because they do not understand what they “are being accused of,” nor did they have any intention of committing slander.
More than 40 years of satire
Martínez noted that the magazine has been publishing humorous and satirical pieces for more than 40 years without any problem except in some “occasional” cases. “We address readers who understand a humorous tone, and who support it. And yes, that may create misunderstandings with people who do not know us so well,” he admitted. He also added that the political climate may be more “turbulent,” but assured that El Jueves will “carry on.”
Guille Martínez explained that they felt the support of their readers and a good part of the citizenship is “unanimous.” “The majority of people understood that this supposed slander that we’re being accused of doesn’t exist,” he pointed out. “We feel understood and supported” he concluded.
The magazine has also published other such humorous pieces as ones titled ‘Adult man living with his parents refuses to declare independence to avoid application of Article 155.’ Indeed, the editor of the publication pointed out that he believes that “anything can be made into a joke” and that there is “nothing” so important that a “humorous side cannot be found.”