Hate speech conviction in Russia: no ECHR breach
In its judgment in Atamanchuk v. Russia (application no. 4493/11), handed down yesterday, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) declared that Russian authorities had not violated the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) when they, in enforcing legislation against hate speech, convicted a businessman for inciting hatred against non-Russians through an article published in a local newspaper.
According to the ECtHR, neither Article 6 ECHR (right to a fair trial) nor Article 10 ECHR (freedom of expression) were violated, because the applicant’s remarks did not contribute to any public debate. The Strasbourg-based court also took into account the fact that the criminal conviction (a fine and a two-year ban on journalistic or