On 20 July, the Quevedo Institute of the Arts of Humour of the General Foundation of the University of Alcalá in Madrid (FAGUA) published and circulated this communiqué in which they expressed their concern after learning of some cases of judicial persecution of different pieces of humour, actions that they consider to be a constant threat to the exercise of satirical criticism, and claimed that the normal development of the inviolable right to freedom of expression and printing is being prevented
Humour is still an exercise in criticism which, whether it is more or less liked, more or less accurate, is protected by the right to freedom of expression and printing. As we at the Quevedo Institute of the Arts of Humour (IQH) have said on other occasions, humour is the intelligent cotton wool test of freedom of expression, a fundamental concept in an emancipated and democratic society. The democratic health of a society is measured by the limits placed on the exercise of satire. In the face of cases in which sensibilities may or may have been hurt, which are of course respectable, we at the IQH appeal to civilised tolerance, we call for the defence of healing irony and we vindicate the intelligent and responsible art of practising it freely.
At the same time, we express our concern for the constant threat to the exercise of satirical criticism, and we vindicate the limits of coexistence as a framework for the exercise of this profession.
For all of the above reasons, we express our most active defence of freedom of expression in the free exercise of satirical opinion in its innumerable facets, at the same time as we express our most energetic rejection of attempts to muzzle the group of professionals who formulate it.
Finally, we wish to express our concern and repulsion at the perverse interpretation of the law that is being attempted, with the sole aim of preventing the normal development of the inviolable right to freedom of expression and printing.
20 July 2023