MEPs have protested against the European Parliament quaestors'* continued censorship of a planned exhibition of political cartoons this week.
In response to the censorship decisions, the exhibition of posters on the walls was cancelled by the hosts, MEPs Stelios Kouloglou and Patrick Le Hyaric.
Last night, however, in the area of the European Parliament where the exhibition was due to open, some MEPs held a protest action wearing t-shirts with images of the cartoons that were intended to be displayed in the exhibition, including those that were banned.
The MEPs, from GUE/NGL and other political groups, then turned their backs to the cameras to reveal a message on the other side of their t-shirts: 'We turn our backs on censorship'.
Last week the Parliament's quaestors decided to censor 12 of the cartoons that were to be exhibited in the Parliament.
Following their decision, co-host of the exhibition MEP Stelios Kouloglou, appealed to both the quaestors and President Antonio Tajani to reverse the decision.
The quaestors' final decision was to reduce the number of censored cartoons from 12 to five.
Meanwhile, no response was received from President Tajani.
The censorship of the cartoons has gained international press coverage and inspired the production of additional cartoons on the subject.
Greek MEP, Stelios Kouloglou, comments: “I would like to thank the quaestors for making the cartoons famous all around the world and simultaneously inspiring a whole new wave of artistic creation.”
* Quaestors are Members of Parliament who deal with administrative matters directly affecting MEPs.