Holocaust denial not a human right, rules European court

STRASBOURG, France — Denial of the Holocaust is not a human right, a European court rules today, throwing out a complaint by a German neo-Nazi politician.

Udo Pastoers, who served in the local parliament of the northeastern region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, was convicted in Germany in 2012 after giving a speech in 2010 in which he appeared to cast doubt on whether the Holocaust really happened.

Pastoers, a member of the extreme right National Democratic Party (NDP), lodged a complaint against the conviction with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in 2014.

Udo Pastoers of the extreme-right National Democratic Party party attends a news conference after the party’s convention in Berlin on April 5, 2009. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

He argued his freedom of expression was violated and his right to a fair trial infringed because the judge at his appeal could not have been impartial as he was the husband of a judge who had convicted him in a lower court.

The ECHR judges rule unanimously that Pastoers’ complaint that freedom of expression had been violated is “manifestly ill-founded and had to be rejected.”

The judges also rule by four votes to three that there had been no violation of the right to a fair trial.

It adds an independent court of appeal panel with no links to either married judge had ultimately decided on the bias claim and had rejected it.


Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed