Success for HCLU: freedom of expressing opinion rules!

Péter György represented by András Schiffer, lawyer of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) won the lawsuit against Sándor Fábry in front of the court of the first instance. According to the court the statement made by Péter György – calling the showman racist and accusing him of showing hatred against gypsies - is “on the cutting edge of freedom of expression but it does not exceed its borders.”

The ruling in favor of Mr. György is not only a success for HCLU but also a significant success for the idea of freedom of expressing opinion itself. According to Judge Árpád Pataki “those who express hard criticism about others shall expect to be subject of such criticism as well.” One of the issues of the case was whether Fábry is a public figure or not, and whether the opinion formed over another opinion is within the scope of freedom of expression or not. Sándor Fábry initiated criminal procedure as well, pressing charges for defamatory statement. Mr. György is represented by HCLU in the criminal procedure as well. Mr. György was reprimanded without holding of a trial. The defense has requested trial. There has not been hearing held in the case yet.

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