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Stichting Ostade Blade -v- The Netherlands

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Stichting Ostade Blade -v- The Netherlands

Postby dls » Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:14 am

Stichting Ostade Blade -v- The Netherlands (Dec) - ECHR - 27-May-2014 - (8406/06 - Legal Summary, Bailii, [2014] ECHR 813) - Human Rights - Media
ECHR Article 10-1
Freedom to impart information
Freedom to receive information
Search of magazine premises for letter claiming responsibility for bomb attacks: inadmissible
Facts - Following a series of bomb attacks in Arnhem (Netherlands) in 1995 and 1996, a magazine published by the applicant foundation issued a press release in which it announced that the next issue of the magazine would include a letter received from an organisation claiming responsibility for one of the attacks. A search of the magazine's premises was then carried out under the supervision of an investigating judge in connection with the criminal investigations into the bombings and computers and documents were taken away for further inspection after the magazine editor said the letter was not on the premises. In its application to the European Court, the applicant complained that the search for the letter on the magazine's premises had violated its right to receive and impart information.
Law - Article 10: The order to hand over the letter and the search of the premises which followed constituted an interference with the applicant's right to "receive and impart information". However, contrary to what the applicant had alleged, this was not a case concerned with the protection of journalistic sources. The magazine's informant was not motivated by the desire to provide information which the public were entitled to know, but was instead claiming responsibility for crimes he had himself committed; his purpose in seeking publicity through the magazine was to don the veil of anonymity with a view to evading his own criminal accountability. As to whether the interference had been necessary in a democratic society, the Court noted that the original document received by the editorial board of the magazine was sought as a possible lead towards identifying those responsible for a series of bomb attacks. Irrespective of whether the attacks had caused damage only to property, or could or could not be labelled "terrorist", the inherent dangerousness of the crimes committed constituted sufficient justification for the investigative measures in issue.
Conclusion: inadmissible (manifestly ill-founded).
(See also Nordisk Film & TV A/S v. Denmark (dec.), 40485/02, 8 December 2005, Information Note 81)
Statutes:
European Convention on Human Rights s. 10
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