Reporters Without Borders Annual Report 2002 - Luxembourg
|Publisher||Reporters Without Borders|
|Publication Date||3 May 2002|
|Cite as||Reporters Without Borders, Reporters Without Borders Annual Report 2002 - Luxembourg, 3 May 2002, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/487c525721.html [accessed 2 May 2016]|
Luxembourg was condemned by the European Court of Human Rights for violating a journalist's freedom of expression in a case dating back to 1993.
The European Court of Human Rights condemned the Luxembourg government on 29 March 2001 for "violating the right to freedom of expression" of a journalist formerly with the radio station RTL under article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Luxembourg was ordered to pay 18,380 euros in damages to the journalist, Marc Thoma, who had been convicted in 1993 of "harming the reputation" of officials of the country's water and forestry commission. In a radio programme on 6 November 1991, he had used extracts from a report in the daily newspaper Tageblatt about reforestation work after storms in 1990 that suggested the officials were corrupt. Sixty-three officials from the commission had taken legal action against Thoma, who was convicted on 14 July 1993 by a Luxembourg city court and ordered to pay a symbolic one franc in damages and the costs of the case. The country's appeal court upheld the conviction on 30 January 1996. The European Court of Human Rights ruled that freedom of expression applied as much to material that "offended, shocked or disturbed" as it did to "favourable or inoffensive" material. It recalled that in a democratic society "the press plays a vital role of public watchdog."