Wednesday, 22 July 2009

French Mayor Prosecuted for Israel Boycott Call, Loses at European Court of Human Rights

A seven-judge Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, with one judge dissenting, has upheld the conviction of a local mayor for making comments susceptible of provoking discriminatory conduct, contrary to the French Penal Code. The major, Jean-Claude Willem, had called for a boycott of Israeli products, and had publicized his call on the website of the municipality. Rejecting his complaint based upon a violation of freedom of expression, the European Court of Human Rights said that he had certain duties, as mayor, of neutrality and reserve and that he had not respected these. The Court said that while he was entitled to his opinions, he had overstepped the line in calling for a boycott of all Israeli suppliers, which the Court said amounted to discrimination. See:
At present, the decision is only available in French.
Thanks to Michael Kearney.

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