One does not simply insult the president – Meme lands doctor in hot water

Dec 11, 2015 | 2015, News

And on a humorous note –  Turkey: A Doctor has been criminally charged insulting the State President. The Doctor was dismissed from his position at Turkey’s public health service in October after sharing images comparing Erdoğan’s facial expressions to those of the fictional character Gollum of The Lord of the Rings. The crime is a statutory offence arising from the Civil Servants Act which prohibits any civil servant from publishing any “form of political or ideological statement”.

Have a look meme at the centre of the foray available here.

The trial was postponed yesterday when it became apparent that the neither the judge nor the head prosecutor had seen the films based on the epic fantasy novel by JRR Tolkien. As a result expert witnesses had to be called in to determine whether the reference to Gollum was indeed an insult.

This has not stopped fans of the series from weighing into on the question of insult on social media. Some have pointed out that Gollum is an infinitely more complex than the simple grotesque creature known for his split personality, eating raw fish and distaste for rabbit stew and potatoes.

South African Legislation does not generally criminalise the publication of political or ideological statement. But civil damages can be sought by any person if another has intentionally and unlawfully published defamatory material which lowers that person’s reputation in the minds of right-thinking, or right-minded persons.

See more here.