NGO Ausad Valimised (Honest Elections) connected with the Estonian Center Party announced that European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) accepted their appeal regarding a fine which was imposed on them by the Consumer Protection Board for a campaign which criticized Estonia’s e-elections, informs LETA/BNS. “The European Court of Human Rights decided to accept the appeal of MTU Ausad Valimised regarding a fine which was imposed on the NGO for a campaign that notified about the dangers and risks of e-election, and proposed to the sides a deal according to which the state would have to pay the NGO 9,000 euros,” said member of the NGO’s board Siret Kotka who is also a member of the Center Party board. According to Kotka, it means that the NGO won against the Estonian state.
According to the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, no final settlement can be talked of yet and the state has yet to take a stand regarding the case. “And when speaking about the claim that it is “a victory against the state”, we stress that it is an ongoing process where the state has the opportunity to present its positions and only then the European Court of Human Rights will decide who is right,” spokesperson for the ministry Maria Belovas said. According to Belovas the court sent the NGO’s appeal to Estonia on Jan. 19 for the latter to provide an answer.
Belovas added that according to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms a friendly compromise procedure is confidential and therefore the NGO has breached the rules with its press release. “As a result of such a breach the European Court of Human Rights has in practice declared appeals inadmissible, finding that it is an abuse of the right of appeal,” Belovas said. She added that it is also not extraordinary of the court to propose settling the matter in a compromise procedure.