Strasbourg Observers

View posts from: Freedom of Expression

  • Guest Blogger

Journalist and editor’s conviction for incitement to religious hatred violated Article 10

December 19, 2019

By Ronan Ó Fathaigh and Dirk Voorhoof In Tagiyev and Huseynov v. Azerbaijan, the European Court of Human Rights unanimously held that the conviction and imprisonment of Azerbaijani journalist Rafig Nazir oglu Tagiye, and editor Samir Sadagat oglu Huseynov, for incitement to religious hatred, violated their right to freedom of expression under Article 10 ECHR. […]

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Spain: Does the Supreme Court judgment against Catalan leaders comply with human rights law?

December 16, 2019

By Massimo Frigo (Senior Legal Adviser of the International Commission of Jurists) On 14 October, the Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo) of Spain convicted 12 people in connection with their part in the organisation on 1 October 2017 of a referendum on Catalonian independence, that was conducted despite having been declared illegal by the Constitutional Court. […]

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Pryanishnikov v. Russia: the production and distribution of erotic and pornographic material under Article 10 of the ECHR

November 19, 2019

Argyro Chatzinikolaou is a doctoral researcher and a member of the Law & Technology research group and the Human Rights Centre at Ghent University. She is currently working on the research project “Minors and online sexual acts: a study of legal qualifications and regulatory approaches from a children’s rights perspective”. In Pryanishnikov v Russia, a […]

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Denying journalist access to asylum-seeker ‘reception centre’ in Hungary violated Article 10 ECHR

November 04, 2019

By Dirk Voorhoof and Ronan Ó Fathaigh In Szurovecz v. Hungary, the European Court of Human Rights has held that a refusal to grant a journalist access to an asylum-seeker ‘reception centre’ in Hungary violated his right to freedom of expression under Article 10 ECHR. The ECtHR emphasised that newsgathering, including ‘first-hand’ observation by a […]

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ECtHR engages in dangerous “triple pirouette” to find criminal prosecution for media coverage of PKK statements did not violate Article 10

October 14, 2019

By Ronan Ó Fathaigh and Dirk Voorhoof The European Court’s Second Section recently found that criminal proceedings against the owner and the editor of a newspaper for having published statements by the leader of a terrorist organisation were justified and did not violate the right to freedom of expression. The Court in Gürbüz and Bayar […]

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Brzeziński v. Poland: Fine over ‘false’ information during election campaign violated Article 10

August 08, 2019

By Ronan Ó Fathaigh On 25 July 2019, the European Court of Human Rights delivered an important judgment in Brzeziński v. Poland, concerning a provision in Poland’s election law which allows a court, within 24 hours, to consider whether ‘untrue information’ has been published, and to issue an order prohibiting its further distribution. The European […]

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Kablis v. Russia: prior restraint of online campaigning for a peaceful, but unauthorised demonstration violated Article 10 ECHR

May 17, 2019

This blogpost was written by Ronan Ó Fathaigh and Dirk Voorhoof On 30 April 2019, in Kablis v. Russia, the European Court’s Third Section unanimously found that the blocking by Russian authorities of an activist’s social networking account and entries on his blog had breached his right to freedom of expression under Article 10 ECHR. […]

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Activist’s conviction for hooliganism over ‘obscene’ protest violated Article 10 ECHR

January 23, 2019

This blog post was written by Ronan Ó Fathaigh and Dirk Voorhoof On 15 January 2019, the European Court’s Second Section unanimously found that an anti-corruption activist’s conviction for staging an “obscene” demonstration outside a prosecutor’s office, targeting a number of public officials, violated the activist’s freedom of expression. The Court in Mătăsaru v. the […]

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Kaboglu and Oran v. Turkey: protecting the private life of scholars, yet failing to recognize the academic freedom dimension at issue

November 26, 2018

By Sophia Sideridou (intern at the Human Rights Centre of Ghent University) On 30 October 2018, the European Court of Human Rights held unanimously that, in the case of Kaboglu and Oran v. Turkey, there has been a violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The applicants were two university professors […]

  • Strasbourg Observers

Academic freedom dimension overlooked in the case of Tuskia and Others v. Georgia

November 15, 2018

By Joanne Fish (University of Glasgow) In Tuskia and Others v. Georgia (11 October 2018) the European Court of Human Rights ruled on a case concerning a protest against university reforms by a group of academics at Tbilisi State University. The applicants are nine professors, six of which were members of the Grand Academic Council, […]

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E.S. v. Austria: Freedom of Expression versus Religious Feelings, the Sequel

November 07, 2018

By Stijn Smet, Assistant Professor of Constitutional Law at Hasselt University In a recent judgment that has made headlines around the world, the ECtHR rules – not for the first time – that Austria can legitimately curb free speech to protect the religious feelings of believers. That the believers in E.S. v. Austria happened to […]

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Prosecution of a publisher for ‘denigration’ of Turkey violated Article 10

October 29, 2018

This blog post was written by Ronan Ó Fathaigh On 4 September 2018, the European Court of Human Rights delivered a unanimous judgment on Turkey’s controversial Article 301 insult law, and for the first time applied Article 46 of the European Convention, holding that amending the insult law would “constitute an appropriate form of execution” of […]

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Comparing the Proposed EU Directive on Protection of Whistleblowers with the Principles of the European Court of Human Rights

October 22, 2018

By Vigjilenca Abazi (fellow at Yale Law School) and Flutura Kusari (legal advisor at the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom) In April 2018, the European Commission put forward a much-anticipated ‘package of measures’ to strengthen whistleblower protection in the European Union. This includes a proposal for a Directive on the protection of persons […]

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Savva Terentyev v. Russia: criminal conviction for inciting hatred against the police violated a blogger’s freedom of expression

October 09, 2018

By Dirk Voorhoof (Human Rights Centre, Ghent University and Legal Human Academy) In Savva Terentyev v. Russia the ECtHR has applied a very high level of free speech-protection for aggressively insulting and hostile comments about police officers, published on a weblog. The ECtHR observes that some of the wording in the blog post was offensive, […]

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Pussy Riot, the right to protest and to criticise the President, and the Patriarch: Mariya Alekhina and Others v. Russia

September 11, 2018

By Dirk Voorhoof, Human Rights Centre, Ghent University and Legal Human Academy In its judgment of 17 July 2018 the ECtHR has found various violations of the rights of the members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot. The ECtHR found violations under Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), Article 5 § 3 […]

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No overbroad suppression of extremist opinions and ‘hate speech’

June 12, 2018

By Dirk Voorhoof, Human Rights Centre, Ghent University and Legal Human Academy In its recent judgment in Stomakhin v. Russia, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) launched the message to all domestic authorities to adopt a “cautious approach” in determining the scope of “hate speech” crimes and to avoid “excessive interference” with the right […]

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Resuscitating the Turkish Constitutional Court: The ECtHR’s Alpay and Altan Judgments

April 03, 2018

Written by Senem Gurol, PhD candidate at Ghent University Introduction After the failed coup d’etat in Turkey, critics have raised concerns about the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECtHR or the Court) ability and willingness to provide an effective remedy for the human rights violations occurred. These concerns arose from the Strasbourg Court’s recent inadmissibility decisions […]

  • Guest Blogger

Conviction for performance-art protest at war memorial did not violate Article 10

March 19, 2018

By Ronan Ó Fathaigh and Dirk Voorhoof The European Court’s Fourth Section has held, by four votes to three, that a protestor’s conviction, including a suspended three-year prison sentence, for frying eggs over the flame of a war memorial, did not violate the protestor’s freedom of expression. The judgment in Sinkova v. Ukraine prompted a […]

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The right of journalistic newsgathering during demonstrations

March 06, 2018

By Dirk Voorhoof and Daniel Simons In a case about a Ukrainian journalist being arrested during an anti-globalisation protest in Russia, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Butkevich v. Russia (13 February 2018) has clarified that the gathering of information is an essential preparatory step in journalism and an inherent, protected part of […]

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Egill Einarsson v Iceland: the Court deals with an offensive Instagram post

January 19, 2018

This guest post was written by Ingrida Milkaite, Ghent University* On 7 November 2017 the European Court of Human Rights (the ECtHR, the Court) found a violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The main issue at hand was the Court’s assessment of whether the right balance between the applicant’s right […]

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