Free speech groups strengthen the right to public protest

Free speech groups strengthen the right to public protest

Hyde Park and Others v. Moldova

Free speech NGOs organised a series of protests in Chişinău. However, the authorities banned the events, giving reasons such as the fact that they disagreed with the point the protest was making. The European court ruled that the bans violated the right to free assembly. Following these cases, significant reforms were made to protect freedom of assembly in Moldova - such as new law which established much stronger protections for the right to hold public gatherings. Freedom of Assembly in Moldova is still being monitored by NGOs and the Council of Europe.

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Azerbaijani activist arrested and detained: the Anar Mammadli case

Azerbaijani activist arrested and detained: the Anar Mammadli case

Anar Mammadli is an activist specialized in monitoring elections in Azerbaijan.

In 2008, his NGO was dissolved by justice. In 2013, in his report about the last elections, he concluded that the Azerbaijani elections were not democratic. The same year he was arrested and placed in custody.

The European Court of Human Rights concluded that his arrest was purely political. The reason of his detention was to silent him.

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North Macedonian politician condemned for defamation

North Macedonian politician condemned for defamation

 Jani Makraduli is a North Macedonian politician. When he was in opposition. Mr Makraduli made statements about public rumours of corrupt activities by a senior government figure, the then Head of the Security and Counter Intelligence Agency.  

The subject of the rumours successfully sued Mr Makraduli for defamation, resulting in a criminal conviction.

The European Court for Human Rights found that Mr Makraduli’s freedom of speech had been violated.  

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Violations of right to peaceful assembly and fair trials in Ukraine: the Vyerentsov case

Violations of right to peaceful assembly and fair trials in Ukraine: the Vyerentsov case

In October 2010, Oleksiy Vyerentsov was arrested and sentenced to three days administrative detention. His crime: organising a peaceful demonstration in protest against corruption in the Ukrainian prosecution service. Left with inadequate time to prepare his defence, and deprived of the opportunity to consult with a lawyer, Oleksiy decided to lodge a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights.

In its judgment, the Court found several violations of the European Convention including the right to peaceful assembly and the right to a fair trial.

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Violations of right to peaceful assembly in Turkey: The Oya Ataman case

Violations of right to peaceful assembly in Turkey: The Oya Ataman case

On 22 April 2000, Oya Ataman took to Sultanahmet Square,Istanbul, in protest against prison conditions in Turkey.  Despite posing no threat to public order, Turkish authorities subjected Oya and several of her colleagues to arbitrary arrest and repelled them with pepper spray, a nerve agent capable of causing respiratory problems, nausea, vomiting and spasms.

In December 2006, The European Court found a violation of article 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights, protecting the right to peaceful assembly.

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