Spanish actor Willy Toledo is in court accused of blasphemy

Free speech advocates gathered in a Madrid cinema last night to protest the detention of Spanish actor Willy Toledo, inset, who stands accused of ridiculing God and the Virgin Mary.

The 48-year-old cinema and TV actor , according to the Guardian, is to face questioning by a judge today (Thursday) for posting a message on Facebook last year that said:

I shit on God, and I have enough shit left over to shit on the dogma of the sanctity and virginity of the Virgin Mary. This country is unbearably shameful. I’m disgusted.

His message formed part of his defence of three women who paraded in the southern city of Sevilla with a giant vagina, simulating a religious procession, dubbing it the “Coño Insumiso” or “Insubordinate Pussy”. They were charged with blasphemy after a complaint was lodged by the Spanish Association of Christian Lawyers.

The same mob then turned on Toledo and denounced him for:

Covering God and the Virgin Mary with ridicule.

Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem spoke out in support of Toledo, 48, warning that the country risked a return to the repressive era of dictator Francisco Franco.

Toledo did not answer a first summons for questioning on 18 April, arguing he had :

Not committed any offence and so there is no need to appear before a judge. The Madrid court ordered he be detained after he again ignored a summons to appear for questioning on 28 June.

In a Ruptly video, protesters are seen speaking out against the actor’s detention. A report accompanying the protest, held in the Teatro del Barrio in downtown Madrid said that Antonia Avalos, a member of the Feminists of the Un-submissive Pussy organisation asked:

How is it possible that this Christian lawyers’ organisation is not hurt by hunger, assassinated women, the kids raped by the hierarchy of the [Catholic] Church or by the paedophile priests?

Another speaker said:

We feel pain because somebody has been taken to a prison cell because he expressed himself and this is serious. It is a barbarity, an assault against human rights.

Carles Ponsi, a cartoonist from El Jueves Magazine, chanted:

I shit on God, I shit on God, I shit on God …