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Dmitriyevskiy v. Russia, No. 42168/06, ECtHR (Third Section), 3 October 2017


Incitement to violence through the use of the press. Unlawful interference with freedom of expression.

Normative references

Art. 10 ECHR


1. When the views expressed in a journal article can neither incite to hatred or intolerance, nor they have the potential to undermine territorial integrity or public safety, or otherwise reject democratic principles, any interference with the freedom of expression is prohibited.

2. Political speech is controversial and often virulent by its nature. The fact that political statements contain hard-hitting criticism of official policy is insufficient in itself to justify an interference with the freedom of expression.
(Case concerning the conviction of a chief editor of a regional newspaper for incitement to hatred and the humiliation of human dignity. Specifically, he published two articles presumably written by two Chechen separatist leaders, which blamed the Russian authorities for the ongoing conflict in the Chechen Republic. In one of the articles, the author alleged that Chechen people were being subjected to a continuing genocide orchestrated by the Kremlin. The Court found that whilst highly critical, the articles could not be read as an incitement to hatred or intolerance liable to result in violence. The statements commented about the governmental policies in the region and were part of a political debate on a matter of public concern. Consequently, it found a violation of Article 10 ECHR).