Brussels, June 7 (MTI) – The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has turned down an appeal by the Hungarian government and upheld an earlier decision condemning Hungary for its law allowing secret surveillance and data collection by national security services without court consent.
In January, the court ruled in favour of two employees of the Károly Eötvös Institute and ordered a compensation of 4,000 euros to be paid to the plaintiffs. With the Hungarian appeal rejected, that ruling has now taken effect.
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 plaintiffs turned to the Strasbourg court 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.