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European court awards compensation against Malta ban on Scottish play

Team SoOLEGAL 16 May 2018 6:17pm

European court awards compensation against Malta ban on Scottish play

A theatre company of Scottish playwright’s drama about Auschwitz which was wrongly banned in Malta on the grounds of obscenity, blasphemy and glorifying sexual perversion has been awarded 20,000 Euros by the Strasbourg court of human rights in Europe. The unanimous judgment delivered by the jury has been hailed by the artistes as one which helps in preserving the artistic freedom.

The theatre company has been performing this show in Britain for many years although it prompted protest walkouts by some of the audience at the Edinburgh festival in 2002. To perform the play in 2008 in Malta, when the permission was sought from Malta’s Board for Film and Stage Classification in 2008 by Unifaun Theatre Productions, it was rejected by the board on the ground that the play was blasphemous, showed contempt for the victims of the Holocaust, portrayed dangerous sexual perversions and referred to the sexual assault of children.

Unifaun filed an appeal with the European Court of Human Right's where judges gave a unanimous ruling stating that the Malta authorities’ decision violated article 10 of the European convention on human rights which guarantees freedom of expression. Unifaun lawyer's alleged that the Malta authorities based their decision on total misreading of the moral standards of a play. Accepting their argument, the court awarded the company and four individuals 10,000 Euros in damages and a further 10,000 Euros in legal costs. The court further stated that company is free to show its play on the island.

Tagged: Malta   European Court of Human Rights   Scottish Play  
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