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Tintin in trouble, likely to be sued for ‘racism’

world Updated: Sep 03, 2009 13:20 IST
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Tintin is in trouble! The young Belgian reporter, whose stories of adventures always feature slapstick humour and sophisticated satire, will soon be sued in France for “racism”.

Yes, a Congolese accountant is to launch a lawsuit in France against Tintin for racism, accusing judges in the comic hero’s native Belgium of trying to bury his case to protect a “national symbol”, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Forty-one-year-old Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo is taking legal action claiming Belgian artiste Herg’s controversial Tintin In The Congo is propaganda for colonialism and amounts to “racism and xenophobia”.

“Tintin’s little (black) helper is seen as stupid and without qualities. It makes people think that blacks have not evolved,” he was quoted by the paper.

In fact, Mondondo launched a case in Belgium two years ago for symbolic damages of just an Euro from Tintin’s Belgian publishers Moulinsart, and demanded the book be withdrawn from the market.

But since then his lawyer, Claude Ndjakanyi, said there had been no response from Belgian justice. “Our request to access the dossier was judged premature even though the investigation has been running for two years,” he said.

Ndjakanyi has claimed the silence was politically motivated: “It’s the symbol of Belgium that is under attack.” He said he would launch parallel proceedings in France and go “all the way to European Court of Human Rights if necessary”.