Pentikäinen v. Finland: No Article 10 Violation


The case of Pentikäinen v. Finland involves a Finnish photographer and his claim of an Article 10 violation, which is the freedom of expression and information. The applicant, Markus Pentikäinen, is a photographer and journalist from Helsinki. He worked for the weekly magazine Suomen Kuvalehti. In September 2006, the magazine had sent him to take photographs of a public demonstration taking place in Helsinki against the Asia-Europe meeting. Pentikäinen had been warned that the demonstration could become violent. Once the demonstration had in fact become violent the police were forced to intervene. The police announced over loudspeakers that the demonstration had been stopped and that everyone should leave. In addition, the police had sealed off the demonstration area. Pentikäinen and some twenty other people remained in the demonstration area. Pentikäinen was under the assumption that as a journalist and media representative he was allowed to stay to take photographs of the demonstration. He explained this to the police and even showed them his press badge. Pentikäinen, however, was arrested, detained for eighteen hours and charges were brought against him. Ultimately, no penalties were imposed.

Pentikäinen decided to bring an Article 10 violation in Strasbourg. He claimed that his rights under Article 10 of the Convention were violated by his arrest and detention because he was unable to do his job as a photographer and journalist. The European Court did not deny that Pentikäinen was unable to do his job because of police intervention. However, the Court ruled that the actions of the police were done in the pursuance of legitimate safety aims. The Court stated that the police were trying to protect the public and prevent crime and disorder. As a result, the actions of the police were justified and necessary. In addition, the Court noted that Pentikäinen was never stopped by the police from taking photos. Therefore, the Court ruled that there was no Article 10 violation.

Pentikäinen has applied for a referral to the Grand Chamber. The Court will be holding a hearing in this case on December 17, 2014.

What do you think about this case? How do you think it will turn out?


Source: ECHR

Image: Yahoo


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