In September 2020, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) reached a verdict, with which it ordered the Republic of North Macedonia to pay compensation in the amount of 3.000 EUR to Nikola Gelevski for the violation of his freedom of expression, announced the portal Okno.mk.

The Court in Strasbourg’s verdict is related to the case where the former editor-in-chief of the newspaper Večer and Sitel TV – Dragan Pavlovik Latas started a trial process against columnist Nikola Gelevski for his article titled “The Megaphones from the Führer’s alley”, published by “Utrinski vesnik” on the March 31, 2009.

Аt the trial, which took place over the course of one year, Pavlovik has won a private lawsuit for defamation against columnist Nikola Gelevski and in the aftermath, Gelevski filed a lawsuit to the ECHR. The Court in Strasbourg stated that the “Government has admitted there was an interference in the applicant’s freedom of speech.”

Among the remaining parts of the verdict’s explanation, ECHR reiterated that “individuals, and in particular journalists, who take part in a public debate on a matter of general interest are allowed to have recourse to a degree of exaggeration or provocation” and also states that “the applicant’s criminal conviction could undoubtedly have a chilling effect on the political debate between members of the media on matters of importance.”

 

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This article was produced within the framework of the project “Media Reform Observatory“, implemented by the Foundation for Internet and the Society “Metamorphosis”, with financial support by the Foundation “Open Society – Macedonia”.

The content is sole responsibility of its authors and in no way whatsoever could be understood as a representation of the views of the Foundation “Open Society – Macedonia”.