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Home NATIONALJournalist’s freedom not violated in 2006 demo: ECJ
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Wed, 21 Oct, 2015 12:04:51 AM
FTimes – STT Report, Oct 21
 
Photographer Markus Pentikainen`s photos opened in Helsinki District court in 2007. File Photo – Lehtikuva.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) on Tuesday ruled the Finnish authorities did not prevent a photographer from discharging his duty as a journalist during the Smash Asem demonstration in 2006. 
 
Accordingly, the Grand Chamber of the Court took the view that Finland did not violate photographer Markus Pentikäinen’s freedom of expression.
 
In its decision, the ECJ stressed that Pentikäinen was not arrested because of his work, but because he refused to obey the police command to leave the premises. 
 
Likewise, his camera equipment was not seized as a punishment.
 
The ECJ adopted the decision by 13-4 in Strasbourg, Germany. The verdict is final because the Grand Chamber is the ECJ’s highest court.
 
The lawyer for the Finnish Union of Journalists, Jussi Salokangas, who was assisting Markus Pentikäinen with this case, is disappointed with the decision.
 
“It is sad that the Court of Human Rights made this decision. This is a major preliminary decision that affects all of Europe, and affects the work of journalists in crisis areas,” Salokangas said.
According to Salokangas, the foreign ministry’s erroneous claims are likely to be affected by the ECJ decision.
 
“A representative for the foreign ministry claimed that the police were not aware of Pentikäinen’s role as a journalist. The police officer who arrested Pentikäinen said that he was not shown a press ID,” Salokangas said.
 
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