This chapter deals with lèse-majesté laws and their impact on the exercise of freedom of political expression and journalism from the perspective of international human rights law. In doing so, it addresses the chilling effects of the application of a particular crime of lèse-majesté, namely “defaming a head of state”, which are emphasized with historical and current examples from Turkey: a country that exemplifies the excesses in practice. Said excesses are assessed in light of the standards of freedom of political expression set by the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, which also demonstrates the excesses in other European countries and provides a comparative outlook. In conclusion, it is inferred that the mere existence of lèse-majesté crimes puts the rule of law at risk, thereby forcing journalists and other citizens alike to resort to self-censorship in violation of international human rights law as interpreted by the regional human rights mechanism.
|Title of host publication||Journalist Safety and Self-Censorhip|
|Editors||Anna Grøndahl Larsen, Ingrid Fadnes, Roy Krøvel|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||15|
|ISBN (Print)||9780367409623, 9780367409647|
|Publication status||Published - 9 Jul 2020|