Press release - 452(2008)

A victory for freedom of expression

Statement by Terry Davis Secretary General of the Council of Europe on the judgment by the European Court of Human Rights on the case of Armenian television A1+

Strasbourg, 18.06.2008 - Television is a very influential part of the media. Decisions of regulatory bodies on the award, refusal or withdrawal of a broadcasting licence can have a direct bearing on freedom of expression and therefore on the functioning of democracy.

The decision of the European Court of Human Rights brings an end to the long drawn-out saga about the refusal of the Armenian authorities to award a broadcasting licence to the A1+ television station. The decision comes after numerous calls from different bodies of the Council of Europe have been ignored by the Armenian authorities. All member states of the Council of Europe are legally bound to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights. They should do so without being reminded of their responsibilities by the European Court of Human Rights.

The decision of the Court is a victory for freedom of expression. It should also serve as a lesson to all governments inclined to arbitrary interpretations of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees this essential freedom.

 

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