France was condemned by the ECHR for violating the freedom of speech of active Palestinian activists

France was condemned on Thursday by the ECHR for condemning 2013 pro-Palestinian activists who demanded boycotts of Israeli products.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) condemned France on Thursday, June 11, for violating the freedom of expression of pro-Palestinian militants, who had been condemned for their call for a boycott of products imported from Israel.

“The Court notes that the documents and allegations alleged against the applicants fell under political and militant terms and addressed a topic of public interest” and considers that their 2013 conviction of Colmar High Court “did not do so based on relevant and sufficient grounds,” the Council of Europe’s legal argument arm.

In 2016, the ECHR was seized by eleven members of “Collectif Palestine 68”. The applicants participated in the Haut-Rhin International Campaign for Palestinian NGOs “Boycott, Disposal and Sanctions” and participated in 2009 and 2010 actions in a supermarket in Illzach, near Mulhouse, to call customers to boycott Israeli products.

“By its very nature, political discourse is often virulent and a source of controversy. It is nonetheless in the public interest unless it degenerates into a call to violence, hatred or intolerance,” the European Convention stressed in a press release on its decision.

Satisfaction for the association France and Palestine

“The call for a boycott is recognized as a civil right!”, The association France and Palestine welcomed in a press release.

On the other hand, the Court considered that Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“no penalty without law”) had not been infringed by French justice.

According to the ECHR’s decision, France must pay each applicant “EUR 380 for financial damage, EUR 7,000 for non-financial damage, and the applicants together EUR 20,000 for costs and expenses”.

Last week, the ECHR had already condemned France for not taking enough action to protect Marina, a little girl of eight years, who died in 2009 during the battle of her parents.

With AFP