According to UPI.com, BEHEMOTH frontman Adam “Nergal” Darski faces a second trial on charges he insulted religious sentiment when he tore up a Bible during a concert, officials say.
A district court in Gdansk Tuesday overruled an earlier judgment that he was expressing artistic freedom during the 2007 concert, Polskie Radio reported.
Darski also said during the concert the Bible was “full of lies,” and members of the audience burned its pages.
The singer’s lawyers had argued during the initial trial in 2011 the concert was attended only by fans who were not offended by Darski’s actions.
A person could be guilty of offending religious sensibilities even if they had not “directly” intended to do so, Poland’s Supreme Court ruled in October.
The verdict in the second trial is expected to be a major ruling on freedom of speech in Poland.
BraveWords spoke to Nergal about the incident recently. “You have to realize that there are some very conservative parties in Poland, who want to take advantage of fighting a person like myself, because I’m in the media and it’s very easy to spot me and attack me. I’m prolific with a face that’s very much exposed in the media. Obviously there are a lot of people who use blasphemy as a metaphor in their art. But they choose the one that is an easy target, and I’m an easy target for them. So they want to build up their name, they want to build up whatever, they want to win something over this case, and I am doing everything humanly possible for them to fail. I’m just not accepting the present situation where an artist is limited on stage, because he shouldn’t. If I decided to be an accountant, I definitely wouldn’t be doing blasphemies and commit blasphemous acts in a bank let’s just say. Are you reading me? I’m being very sarcastic now. No, I’m an artist and that’s the way I want to express myself. That’s my manifest, that’s it. I’m not attacking people. I’m never in the street attacking people because I’m not fighting with people I’m fighting with ideas that I disagree with and I do it within my battlefield, my territory. When I go there, I fight like I’m in the ring just like two boxers where one boxer knocks the other one out. He doesn’t get arrested because they know this is the ring and these are the rules. That’s what I’m trying to explain to some people that are very narrow-minded. They don’t even see the difference. We live in a democratic country and they have to realize that there’s going to be people that have a very negative opinion about their religion. They have to understand that these people also have the right to speak up, that’s how I see it. I know I’m here for the right reason, I fight for the right reason. It’s not a battle between Satanism and Christianity, it’s freedom against bullshit. Freedom against narrow-mindedness. Liberating philosophy versus something very limiting. It’s something that limits one’s freedom and I can’t let it be that way. It’s very obvious, very natural to me.”
Read the entire interview here. (Photos above by: Håkon Grav)
Video of the Bible-tearing incident can be seen below: