The European Court of Human Rights(ECHR) on Tuesday held that Spain violated Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights when the country convicted two of its citizens, Enric Stern Taulats and Jaume Roura Capellera, for setting fire to photograph of the nation’s royal couple stating that the “conviction amounted to an interference with their right to freedom of expression.”
Capellera and Taulats set fire during to an upside-down picture of Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia during a public demonstration in 2007 while the King was on an official visit to Girona. Afterwards, both individuals were convicted and sentenced to 15 months in prison for insulting the Crown.
The judge subsequently made the imprisonment conditional on failure to pay to a €2,700 fine. Capellera and Taulats paid the fine but appealed the judgment all the way to Spain’s Constitutional Court which ruled against them [press release] concluding that the charges against them “fell outside the scope of freedom of expression and freedom of opinion, given that the applicants had been guilty of incitement to hatred and violence against the King and the monarchy.
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