The article in the Criminal Code and the verdict by the Skopje Criminal Court where the individual E.A. was convicted of insulting Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Facebook, is opposed to the practice of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, according to lawyer Filip Medarski.

“The very article, and especially the verdict, goes against the practice of Strasbourg,” Medarski wrote on Twitter pointing out the example from the ECHR verdict on a Frenchman’s appeal. He was sentenced in 2008 by a domestic court to a fine of 30 euros for insulting the then-President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Regarding the need for such a crime in Macedonian legislation, that is, in the Criminal Code, Medarski tells “Meta” that maybe it should exist, but in a changed form, not as it stands now.

“In principle, it is an insult to the symbols (flag, coat of arms and anthem) and institutions of other states, such as the institution of the president. But here it is not about insulting the president as an institution, but an insult to the actual person currently in office, in this case – Erdoğan. This was noted by the ECtHR and in the verdict I cited”, says Medarski