The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is examining the application against internet censorship filed by Turkish nationals Ahmet Yıldırım and Yaman Akdeniz. The international court expects an item of written comment from Turkey until 9 June.
According to a written statement published by the Cyber-Rights.org.tr news site on 7 March, the ECHR merged the files regarding the access ban to Google sites and to LastFM.com on 31 January. The restrictive decision (No. 2009/337) on the Google services was given by the 2nd Magistrate Criminal Court of Denizli (western Turkey) on 23 June 2009. Access to the music sharing site LastFm.com was banned by the Beyoğlu (Istanbul) Public Chief Prosecution on 26 June 2009 (decision no. 2009/45).
On 16 February, the ECHR posted the particularities of both applications on its website together with a list of questions forwarded to the Turkish authorities.
The court allowed time till 9 June for Turkey to respond to the questions. Cyper-Rights.org.tr reported that the court in Strasbourg announced 24 April as the deadline for non-governmental organizations that applied for co-plaintiff status to submit their point of view.
Akdeniz: Important decision for all members of the Council of Europe
Assoc. Prof. Yaman Akdeniz commented the issue on behalf of the website as follows:
"The Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu emphasized several times the decision 'not to make a defence regarding trials (at the ECHR) on freedom of thought'. However, only in June 2011 we will see whether this political decision is also valid for applications filed to the ECHR".
"The Strasbourg Court examines [the applications related to] internet censorship. These two applications carry importance not only for Turkey but for all member states of the Council of Europe", Akdeniz indicated. (EÇ/VK)
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