On today’s International Day for Countering Hate Speech, Human Rights Action publishes the text “Sexually Explicit Political Caricature: Between Satire and Hate Speech”, by Peter Noorlander and Tea Gorjanc Prelević.
A caricature of a Montenegrin female minister performing fellatio on a priest appeared on social networks in January 2021. It was an explicit drawing, accompanied with a heading „For the amusement of Serbian people“.
The caricaturist most likely aimed at criticising the politician’s apparently subservient attitude to the Serbian Orthodox Church, which had been a matter of pressing public interest for some time in Montenegro. But, does freedom of expression protect publishing a sexually explicit and degrading cartoon in order to express legitimate criticism?
Authors support incrimination of sexual harassment as a criminal offence, as recently proposed by the Ministry of Justice upon the initiative of the Women’s Rights Centre.
The text was prepared within the project “Reform Attitudes – Stop Hate Speech” implemented by the Human Rights Action with the financial support of the Australian Embassy in Belgrade.