Constitutional Court: Access Block to Wikipedia Violates Freedom of Expression

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  • December 26, 2019
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The General Assembly of the Constitutional Court has concluded that access block to Wikipedia is a violation of freedom of expression.

The General Assembly of the Constitutional Court has announced its ruling on the access block to Wikipedia in Turkey.

Reviewing the individual application of the Wikimedia Foundation, the owner of Wikipedia, the Court has ruled by a majority of votes that the access block to the online encyclopedia has violated freedom of expression.

The General Assembly of the Court has ruled by a vote of 10 to 6 that the full access block to Wikipedia is a violation of freedom of expression.

The Constitutional Court previously discussed the application; however, considering the nature of the application, it ruled that the case should be heard by the General Assembly of the Constitutional Court.

What happened?

The Ankara 1st Penal Court of Peace blocked access to the website on April 29, 2017 on the ground that some comments and articles on the online encyclopedia "attempted to pose Turkey as operating on the same ground and in cooperation with various terrorist organizations."

Exhausting all domestic remedies, Wikimedia Foundation took the access block to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

The ECtHR accepted the application of Wikimedia in July 2019 and the trial still continues at the court. Apart from Turkey, access to Wikipedia is currently blocked from China and Venezuela.

Source: English Bianet