In the application of Özgür Gündem Daily owner Ali Gürbüz, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decşded that systematic lawsuits filed against journalists are tools for pressure despite their results, that they direct journalists towards self-censorship and violate freedom of expression. The decree expressed that even though Gürbüz was acquitted in all lawsuits filed against him, he was kept under pressure for years with judicial prosecutions.
The ECHR indicated that such prosecutions aim to take journalists under control by creating fear of conviction, establishing a deterrent effect on the social debate platform as well as on freedom of expression. The court found Turkey guilty of violating freedom of expression in accordance with Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights and sentenced 3500 Euros of moral compensation to be paid to Gürbüz.
A total of seven lawsuits had been filed against Gürbüz due to 11 articles and news published on the newspaper between the years 2004 and 2006. The journalist had been acquitted of all charges in 2011.