Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Interpol Alerted to Watch for Dissident Farting Pole

I missed this story in October, just spotted it today, in fact, but thought it was worth a mention:
Police in Poland have launched a nationwide hunt for a man who farted loudly when asked what he thought of the president.

Hubert Hoffman, 45, was charged with "contempt for the office of the head of state" for his actions after he was stopped by police in a routine check at a Warsaw railway station.

He complained that under President Lech Kaczynski and his twin brother Jaroslaw, the country was returning to a Communist style dictatorship.

When told to show more respect for the country's rulers, he farted loudly and was promptly arrested.
This is not covered under freedom of speech, is it? Hmmm...
Hoffmann was [...] released on bail but failed to turn up at a Warsaw court early this week to be tried, and the judge in the case rejected an appeal by defence lawyers to throw the charges out.
Instead the court ordered the police to start a nationwide hunt for the man, and interpol have been alerted.
Interpol!! Interpol?? Shouldn't they be doing something more useful??
Interpol is the world's third largest international organization, after the United Nations and FIFA, with 186 member countries financed by annual contributions of about €41.7 million from its member countries.
Because of the politically neutral role Interpol must play, its constitution forbids any involvement in crimes that do not overlap several member countries, or any political, military, religious, or racial crimes. Its work focuses primarily on public safety and terrorism, organized crime, war crimes, illicit drug production and trafficking, weapons smuggling, trafficking in human beings, money laundering, child pornography, white-collar crime, high-tech crime, and corruption.
I've read the list over and over and I just don't see how farting fits here, unless you consider it politically-motivated farting in which case I guess it makes sense to mobilize the third largest international organization in the world; at the very least I believe it's quite clear that neither the UN nor FIFA would have been interested in the case.