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31 May 2016

posted 31 May 2016, 02:36 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 31 May 2016, 02:37 ]
Criminal conviction of an editor-in-chief of a newspaper for insult amounted to a violation of freedom of expression 
In today’s Chamber judgment1 in the case of Nadtoka v. Russia (application no. 38010/05) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been: a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned the criminal conviction, for insult, of a journalist and the editor-in-chief of the newspaper in which the offending article had been published. The Court found in particular that the offending article had sought to complain of corruption on the part of the mayor of Novocherkassk. A subject of that type was a matter of public concern and discussion of it contributed to political debate. With regard to the proceedings, the Court noted that the domestic courts had not at any stage weighed the right to respect for his reputation of M.V., mayor of Novocherkassk, who had been targeted by the article, against the right to freedom of expression of Ms Nadtoka, the editor-in-chief. In the Court’s view, that was a problematical omission. The Court pointed out that the authorities had enjoyed only particularly limited room for manoeuvre, and concluded that the interference complained of by Ms Nadtoka had not been “necessary in a democratic society” for the protection of the reputation and rights of others.