Brussels, January 12 (MTI) – The Strasbourg Court of Human Rights has ruled in favour of two employees of the Karoly Eotvos Institute over Hungarian laws allowing secret surveillance and data collection by national security services without court consent, the court said on Tuesday.

The ruling stated that the court found the Hungarian law problematic on one point in which it breached the Human Rights Charter’s provisions on the right to privacy. The authorities in a democracy can only ignore this right in cases where national security or public safety is at stake or when a crime must be prevented or public morals or others’ freedoms must be safeguarded, the ruling said. The court ordered a compensation of 4,000 euro to be paid to the plaintiffs.

The civil organisation appealed to Strasbourg after Hungary’s Constitutional Court rejected their submission in June 2012 asking for the annulment of a 2011 amendment of law-enforcement legislation. The amendment authorised the justice minister to permit secret surveillance of any individual by the TEK counter-terrorism force without court approval.

The government said it would examine the Strasbourg ruling. TEK has always observed the law and acted in compliance, the Government Information Centre said in a statement. Combating terrorism is everyone’s interest, especially now with the terror threats in Europe. Hungarian laws serve this purpose, the statement said.


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