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Falakaoğlu and Saygılı v. Turkey, No. 11461/03, ECtHR (Second Section), 19 December 2006


Propaganda in favour of a terrorist organization. Arbitrary interference with freedom of expression.

Normative references

Art. 10 ECHR


1.    The task of imparting information includes duties and responsibilities, as well as limits that the press must impose on itself spontaneously. This is especially true when serious facts are attributed to persons identified by name, because of the risk of public condemnation.

2.    The right to freedom of expression can be legitimately restricted only in the case of hate speech or incitement to violence, to armed resistance or revolt.

(In the instant case, the applicants – respectively editor-in-chief and owner of the daily newspaper Yeni Evrensel – complained about their criminal conviction for having published press articles designating State agents as targets for terrorist organisations. They alleged a violation of their right to freedom of expression. The Court noted that the articles in question, while particularly offensive, do not call for violence, armed resistance or revolt and do not constitute hate speech. Consequently, it found a violation of Article 10 ECHR, since the interference with freedom of expression was not necessary in a democratic society).