Arrest and prosecution for breaches of public assembly rules

Arrest and prosecution for breaches of public assembly rules

Novikova and others v. Russia

In the case of Novikova and others v. Russia (application nos. 25501/07, 57569/11, 80153/12, 5790/13 and 35015/13) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights in respect of all five applicants.

The case concerned the complaints by five people, lodged separately, about the authorities’ response to demonstrations held by each of them, notably their arrest and retention at a police station for several hours and, in respect of three of the applicants, their conviction of an administrative offence.

The Court concluded that the authorities’ actions, for which they had not given relevant and sufficient reasons, had constituted a disproportionate interference with the applicants’ right to freedom of expression. In particular, the applicants had merely voiced their opinion in a non-violent manner.

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