Österreichischer Rundfunk v. Austria
European Court of Human Rights
7 December 2006
The applicant company, a broadcasting corporation, broadcasted in its news information about Mr.K., head of neo-Nazi organization, and information and image of his deputy Mr.S., who had been released on parole five weeks earlier. Upon the request of Mr.S. Austrian courts prohibited the applicant company to publish Mr.S.\'s picture accompanied by any text on his conviction without his consent, once the sentence had been executed or he had been released on parole.
The applicant company complained that the prohibition to publish Mr.S.’s picture violated its right to freedom of expression.
The Court ruled that the applicant company’s interest into the picture’s publication outweighed the Mr.S’s right to private life. Thus the prohibition violated the freedom of expression of the applicant company.
The Court noted that the limitation of the freedom of expression of the applicant company was prescribed by law and was aimed at protection of the right to private life and reputation of others. However, the Court found that:
- The public has an interest into the publication of a picture of a convicted person after his release on parole.
- The fact that Mr.S. had just been released, his notoriety and the political nature of the crime of which he had been convicted shall be taken into account.
- Information in the news items was correct and complete, and the picture shown was related to the content of the report.
- Other media had remained free to publish Mr.S.\'s picture in the said context.