Friday, 20 December 2013

Perinçek v. Switzerland - a reference to the importance of protecting the rights of homosexuals

On the 17th December 2013 the European Court of Human Rights held by a majority, in Perinçek v Switzerland, that the applicant had suffered a violation of his Article 10 rights after being convicted under the criminal law for publicly challenging the existence of the Armenian genocide.

The Court found that Mr Perinçek, who during various conferences in Switzerland, had described the Armenian genocide as an 'international lie', had not committed an abuse of his rights within the meaning of Article 17 of the Convention.

In its discussion of what would constitute an abuse of rights under Article 17, the Court, referring back to its earlier decision in Molnar v Romania, stated that public speech that is intended to instigate hatred against the 'homosexual minority' and is likely to seriously disrupt public order goes against the fundamental values ​​of the Convention and of a democratic society. When such speech infringes the rights of others, it is incompatible with democracy and human rights and, under the provisions of Article 17, individuals cannot rely on Article 10 to protect such speech. 

Judgment in full (but available in French only) here:


Press Release of the Court here:


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