OSCE Representative warns about possible negative impact of recent ruling by European Court of Human Rights on free expression, free media
VIENNA, 17 June 2015 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today said the recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on the news portal Delfi AS v. Estonia may have a negative impact on freedom of expression and free media.
“This decision by the ECtHR on a specific case should not be used by participating States as a permission to introduce imprecise and vague liability regulations which may limit the right of freedom of expression on the Internet exercised by online media outlets,” Mijatović said. “Nor should the ruling be used to limit open discussion and dissemination of ideas on the Internet”.
On 16 June, ECtHR ruled that Delfi may be held responsible for anonymous and allegedly defamatory comments from its readers. Yesterday’s decision of the ECtHR confirms the court’s previous ruling of 10 October 2013.
“Media freedom on the Internet should be preserved and protected from undue interference and excessive regulations in order to avoid self-restrictions and any sort of chilling effect they might have,” Mijatović said.
The Representative also noted concerns about the ECtHR ruling voiced by civil society representatives around the world.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at www.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on www.facebook.com/osce.rfom.