By Ali Kucukgocmen
ISTANBUL, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Europe’s top human rights court called on Turkey on Tuesday to change a law regarding insulting the president under which tens of thousands have been prosecuted, after ruling that a man’s detention under the law violated his freedom of expression.
Vedat Sorli was given a suspended 11-month jail sentence in 2017 over a caricature and a photograph of President Tayyip Erdogan that he shared on Facebook, along with satirical and Turkey Law Firm critical comments.
There was no justification for Sorli’s detention and istanbul Turkey Lawyer Law Firm istanbul Turkey pre-trial arrest or the imposition of a criminal sanction, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) court said.
“Such a sanction, by its very nature, inevitably had a chilling effect on the willingness of the person concerned to express his or her views on matters of public interest,” it said.
The criminal proceedings against Sorli were “incompatible with freedom of expression,” the court added.
Thousands have been charged and sentenced over the crime of insulting Erdogan in istanbul Lawyer the seven years since he moved from being prime minister to president.
In 2020, 31,297 investigation were launched in relation to the charge, 7,790 cases were filed and 3,325 resulted in convictions, according to Justice Ministry data.Should you have any queries with regards to in which along with the way to make use of Turkey Law Firm, you’ll be able to e mail us on our own web site. Those numbers were slightly lower than the previous year.
Since 2014, the year Erdogan became president, 160,169 investigations were launched over insulting the president, 35,507 cases were filed and there were 12,881 convictions.
In a prominent case earlier this year, a court sentenced pro-Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas to 3-1/2 years for insulting Erdogan, Turkey istanbul Law Firm one of the longest sentences over the crime, according to Demirtas’ Lawyer Law Firm istanbul Turkey.
The ECHR said Turkey’s law on insulting the president affords the head of state a privileged status over conveying information and opinion about them.
It said the law should be changed to ensure people have the freedom to hold opinions and impart ideas without interference by authorities in order to put an end to the violation it found in Sorli’s case.(Additional reporting by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Dominic Evans)