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Government urged to launch appeal in "Princess Caroline Case"

(WAN/IFEX) - In a 14 September 2004 letter to Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries, WAN and the World Editors Forum (WEF) urged the German government to appeal the European Court of Human Rights' decision in the case of von Hannover versus Germany (the "Princess Caroline Case") by 24 September, the date by which appeals must be lodged.

The organisations expressed their concern that the decision seeks to extend a public figure's right to privacy to include public places and to narrow the definition of freedom of expression by effectively introducing a "public interest" requirement. States and national courts would be expected to act to protect these rights.

If the decision of the Court of Human Rights is left unchallenged, it would have a significant and deleterious impact on freedom of the press in many parts of Europe. The national newspaper publishers' associations in several European countries asked WAN and WEF to request the justice minister's intervention. The two organisations are seriously concerned that the ruling would significantly alter the delicate balance between the right to privacy, as guaranteed by Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights, and the right to freedom of expression, articulated in Article 10.

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