Switzerland: Journalist convicted for demonstrating voting system flaw

first_img Help by sharing this information to go further Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” December 6, 2016 Switzerland: Journalist convicted for demonstrating voting system flaw SwitzerlandEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalists Judicial harassment Protecting media freedom and free speech when regulating digital platforms November 11, 2020 Find out more Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns a Swiss court’s decision to convict a journalist who reported in March 2015 that he voted twice in an election in order to demonstrate that the electronic voting system was flawed.Joël Boissard, who works for Switzerland’s RTS broadcaster, was able to vote twice by Internet in the March 2015 federal and cantonal elections because he was sent two sets of voting documents, firstly as a Swiss resident in France and then as a resident of Geneva, to which he returned at the start of 2015.After managing to vote twice, Boissard immediately contacted the authorities and asked them to explain this anomaly. Three weeks later he learned that the authorities had reported him to the prosecutor’s office in Geneva.A court finally convicted him on 1 November of this year on a criminal charge of electoral fraud and gave him a suspended sentence – a fine.Boissard is amazed by the court’s decision because it takes no account of the fact that he acted not with intent to commit fraud but solely to draw attention to a matter of public interest.According to his lawyer, Jamil Soussi, the European Court of Human Rights has in the past ruled in favour of journalists who broke the law solely because it was the only way to draw attention to serious problems.In this case, Boissard used the only way possible to confirm that the electronic voting system was flawed.Boissard and RTS have appealed to the Federal Criminal Court on the grounds that his conviction constitutes a grave violation of media freedom. The court is due to hold a public hearing on the case in January.RSF’s also regards Boissard’s criminal conviction as an extraordinary attack on the media’s freedom and duty to inform the public.Switzerland is ranked 7th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press FreedomIndex. Follow the news on Switzerland Electronic vote / AFP Receive email alerts News Reports News SwitzerlandEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalists Judicial harassment Organisation June 26, 2020 Find out more RSF_en Attacks on media in Europe must not become a new normal News April 29, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more