Turkey guilty of violating free speech right, finds European court

A file photo shows ECHR President Robert Spano, left, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on September 3, 2020. (Courtesy: ECHR)

The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday found Turkey guilty of violating the right to free speech of two academics by prosecuting them for publishing a report on minorities.

Ibrahim Kaboglu and Baskin Oran were charged in 2005 for “inciting hatred” and “disparaging the state’s judiciary bodies” after releasing their report which highlighted issues relating to the protection of minorities in Turkey, sparking a lively debate in the country.

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They were acquitted by a Turkish court in 2008, but the European court – to which they brought their case in 2007 – ruled that even without a conviction their right to free expression had been infringed upon.

The years-long legal proceedings had “interfered” with their liberty of expression, and “inevitably” created pressure on the researchers, leading to self-censorship, the court’s seven judges ruled.

In their guilty verdict, the judges ordered Turkey to pay 2,000 euros ($2,360) in damages to both academics.

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Last Update: Tuesday, 20 October 2020 KSA 18:16 - GMT 15:16
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