European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has issued a press release today which is available here:
A French National, Eon, on August 28, 2008 when Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France was visiting, waved a placard saying “Casse toi pov’con (Get lost, you sad prick”). This phrase the President himself spoke to a farmer few months earlier when the farmer refused to shake hands with the President.
Lower Courts held that this act by Eon was indeed an insult to the President. Eon appealed the verdict on April 12, 2010 with the ECHR on the point that his conviction for act of insulting the President of France was an infringement of his freedom of speech and expression.
In the attached press release, the Court has decided that the conviction was indeed wrong and an “interference by public authority” with his right to freedom of expression.
Albeit the Court agreed that the phrase in question was indeed offensive but it had to be taken in an overall context of the case. Ultimately what weighed in with the Court was the balance tilting in favour of free discussion of matters of public interest.
Now compare the situation at hand when Govt of India and the States are leaving no stones unturned in arresting cartoonists, bloggers and anyone whomsoever has been able to express herself, even by a tweet or liking a Facebook post, to the annoyance of our Maibaaps (RULERS).
Disclaimer: Vide this post, under Section 66A of the IT Act, 2000, I intend to cause no annoyance to any person who can exercise the powers under the Act but does not UNDERSTAND the law.
God only help us.