A man is arguing that farting is free speech after being fined for letting rip on a police officer

A man is arguing that farting is free speech after being fined for letting rip on a police officer
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A 22-year-old man in Austria is arguing that ‘farting’ is an expression of free speech after he was fined €500 for passing wind on a police officer.

Back on 5th June 2020, the man in question, referred to only as ‘Mr AB’ in the court documents, underwent a routine identity check from police in an unnamed park in the European country last summer.

The man clearly objected to this and decided to voice his opinion by using his flatulence.

In the document, it explains that: “When he released the intestinal gas, the complainant was sitting on a park bench. He then lifted his buttocks and tensed up a little before letting the intestinal gas escape.”

The description of the event explains that the man’s friends laughed at the fart and had ‘grinned’ at the officers, clearly happy with his work there that day.

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As per the Austrian newspaper Der Standard, the man argued that his farts weren’t just a childish prank aimed at a police officer but actually an expression of free speech and therefore should fall under his fundamental rights.

Unfortunately for him the judge didn’t see in that way and argued that while farting and burping are forms of ‘social inappropriateness’ they cannot be constituted as ‘communicative content’ as they literally contain no speech.

Even if they did feature the ability to communicate with others it would still be considered “a form of expression that transcends the boundaries of decency” as per the court documents, which is a shame for anyone attempting to pull the same stunt.

That being said, according to the man’s lawyer Matej Zenz, this case is something that his client is willing to pursue until the bitter end and will be appealing the decision in Austria’s constitutional court. Zenz told Kurier: “It’s a matter of principle for us because it’s petty to get a punishment for a fart.”

It remains to be seen how the man’s appeal will go but it would appear that he is willing to create quite a stink about the situation...

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