Feel Free to Insult, Cameron, Clegg, the Queen, Pope Francis et al
Conviction of political activist for insulting the French
President infringed his freedom of expression In Chamber judgment in the
case of Eon v. France (application no. 26118/10), which is not final,
the European Court of Human Rights held, by a majority, that there had
been: a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European
Convention on Human Rights.
The case concerned the applicant's conviction for
insulting the President of France. During a visit by the President to
the département of Mayenne, the applicant had waved a placard reading
"Casse toi pov'con" ("Get lost, you sad prick"), a phrase uttered by the
President himself several months previously.
The Court held that criminal penalties for conduct such
as that displayed by the applicant were likely to have a chilling
effect on satirical contributions to discussion of matters of public
interest, such discussion being fundamental to a democratic society.