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Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Thought

as important guarantors of democracy.


The freedom of thought in Article 9 of the ECHR is closely linked to other provisions in the ECHR, one of those being the freedom of expression.


In the ECHR, Article 10 (1) says:


„1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises“.


From one side, freedom of expression means the right to receive information, and from the other side, the right to deliver information. Dissemination of information is essential for self-realization. However, freedom of expression may be limited in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence.


At the same time, when one limits or forbids something (I have lately thought of censorship of some words or some forms of expression), the ideas survive, seeking and usually finding alternative ways for expression.


What I am trying to say today is that if one is aware of the rooted beliefs and processes in the society, one could somehow predict what forms could they take after having been forbidden.

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