Tuesday, October 13, 2015

European Court Says Christian Proselytizer's Rights Infringed By Broadcast Documentary

The European Court of Human Rights today in a Chamber Judgment in Bremner v. Turkey (ECHR, Oct. 13, 2015) (full text of decision in French) held that Dion Bremner, an Australian newspaper correspondent and Christian bookstore employee, had his rights violated by a Turkish television station which broadcast a documentary about his Christian proselytizing.  The producers of the broadcast alerted police and criminal charges of insulting God and Islam were brought against Bremner,  He was ultimately acquitted, Bremner then sued the television producer and presenter, and on appeal the European Court found he was entitled to damages.  As summarized by the European Court's press release on the decision, the Court:
held, unanimously, that there had been: a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private life) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned the broadcasting of a television documentary in which the applicant, Mr, Bremner, who was shown promoting his evangelical Christian beliefs, was described as a “foreign pedlar of religion” engaged in covert activities in Turkey. The Court found in particular that the broadcasting of Mr Bremner’s image without blurring it could not be regarded as a contribution to any debate of general interest for society, regardless of the degree of public interest in the question of religious proselytising.
[Thanks to Paul de Mello for the lead.]