From Iceland — Journalist Wins Case Against Icelandic State (Again)

Journalist Wins Case Against Icelandic State (Again)

Published October 21, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Alísa Kalyanova

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled in favour of Icelandic journalist Erla Hlynsdóttir in her case against the Icelandic state.

Vísir reports the court found that the human rights of Erla Hlynsdóttir (shown on the right) were violated when the Supreme Court sentenced her to pay damages to the wife of Guðmundur Jónsson, who used to run the notorious rehab Byrgið. Specifically, Erla was sentenced to pay damages for a quote she included in a news article she wrote about the rehab, which was shut down in 2007 after allegations of fraud and sexual abuse came to light.

Erla appealed the case to the ECHR, who found that her right to freedom of expression had been suppressed by the Supreme Court’s sentence. The Icelandic state has been ordered to pay her 1.2 million ISK.

This is not the first time the government has been ordered to pay her damages over a violation of human rights. In 2012, she and fellow journalist Björk Eiðsdóttir (shown on the left) also won a case against the Icelandic state on the same grounds. The case also concerned the quoting of other people in news the journalists wrote, and the ECHR found the Supreme Court had curtailed their freedom of expression by forcing them to pay damages for the quotes – in this instance, to nightclubs Goldfinger and Strawberries, both of which are now defunct.


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