Bondoc si Asociatii: Lessons (re)learned from the new ECHR case Vladimir Kharitonov v. Russia on blocking access to a website and the freedom of expression
Earlier on 23 June 2020, the European Court of Human Rights (the „Court”) issued a decision in the case Vladimir Kharitonov v. Russia (Application no. 10795/14), in which the Court reiterated that blocking access to a website may constitute a violation of freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the „Convention”). Prior to this, the Court had ruled on this matter in other relevant cases, i.e. Ahmet Yıldırım v. Turkey (no. 3111/10, ECHR 2012) and Cengiz and Others v. Turkey, nos. 48226/10 and 14027/11, ECHR 2015) and the Court’s new decision reminds us of some of the principles stated before. The decision was issued along with other three cases, OOO Flavus and Others v. Russia (application nos. 12468/15, 23489/15, and 19074/16), Bulgakov v. Russia (no. 20159/15), and Engels v. Russia (no. 61919/16) all of which concern various forms of website blocking.
Below are several lessons learned from the decision that need to be considered, including by the competent public authorities, when deciding to block the access to a particular website.
The entire article is available by accesing the links below.