EXCLUSIVE. ActiveWatch violated human rights. The NGO was sentenced to pay moral damages to a Romanian human rights activist

April 1, 2016 • English • Views: 1282

Covasna County Court rejected March 18th, 2016 the appeal of Romanian NGO ActiveWatch against the sentence of Sfântu Gheorghe Town Court that sentenced ActiveWatch to pay moral damages to journalist and human rights activist Dan Tanasa for violating his human rights.

In October 2015 the Sfântu Gheorghe Town Court partially upheld the action and sentenced ActiveWatch, led by Mircea Toma as president, to pay me moral damages for violating my human rights.

ActiveWatch published in August 2014 on their blog an article signed by Adrian Szelmenczi, a member of this NGO, in which they released my personal data without my consent (article in question here).

This action constituted a violation of fundamental human rights. Ironically, ActiveWatch – Agency Media Monitoring defines itself as „a human rights organization campaigning to free communication in the public interest” and which, according to its website, has provided a platform for debates on sensitive topics, among these are also human rights (more details here).

Afterwards, I notified the National Supervisory Authority for Personal Data Processing (ANSPDCP) who sanctioned Active Watch – Media Monitoring Agency for the violation of the right to privacy and the violation of the right to protection of personal data, according to Romanian Law no. 677/2001 (details here).

In other words, an organization that defines itself as a defender of human rights has been sanctioned exactly for the violation of human rights, as the right to private life and the right to protection of personal data are fundamental rights guaranteed by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Following the sanction imposed by ANSPDCP I sued Mircea Toma, Adrian Szelmenczi and ActiveWatch and requested the court, among other, to sentence them to pay me moral damages for violating my human rights.

Sfântu Gheorghe Town Court found that ActiveWatch violated my human rights and sentenced them to pay me moral damages in the amount of 500 lei (aprox. 125 euros).

ActiveWatch appealed against the sentence of Sfântu Gheorghe Town Court but their appeal was rejected by Covasna County Court (details here). Thus, the sentence of Sfântu Gheorghe Town Court remained final. On March 22, ActiveWatch payed me the moral damages (details here).

PHOTO: Mircea Toma, president of ActiveWatch (first on the left), alongside Romanian political analyst Cristian Pârvulescu (center) and former Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta, inliniedreapta.net

This is the English version of this article in Romanian.

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