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Decision/ruling/judgment date

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Incident(s) concerned/related


Related Bias motivation


Groups affected


Court/Body type

High regulatory authority


Regulatory Authority for the Media (Entidade Reguladora para a Comunicação Social)

Key facts of the case

The Regulatory Authority for the Media received a complaint arguing that a media piece published in a national newspaper linked Islamic religion to terrorism, providing incorrect information and ignoring the terrorist cases perpetrated by non-Islamic groups.

Main reasoning/argumentation

The Regulatory Authority for the Media's decision was based on the conclusion that the news piece did not lack rigorous information, which is one of the limits of freedom of expression. According to the Regulatory Authority for the Media, the main conclusions of the news piece are counterbalanced by other facts that don't link terrorism to Islam and all data is supported by identified information sources, namely studies, researchers or databases.

Is the case related to the application of the Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia, the Racial Equality Directive?

Key issues (concepts, interpretations) clarified by the case

The key issues of the case were the following: freedom of speech in the media, link between terrorism and Islam, and conditions for balanced reporting.

Results (sanctions, outcome) and key consequences or implications of the case

The case was dismissed.

Key quotation in original language and its unofficial translation into English with reference details

"(...) apesar de o título asseverar o aumento do número de ataques terroristas perpetrados por grupos «jihadistas» durante o período do Ramadão, esta conclusão é ponderada no texto da notícia com outros estudos que apontam para que, neste período, o terrorismo tenha menos apoio popular entre os membros associados ao fundamentalismo religioso. (...) Finalmente, todos os dados apresentados na notícia são sustentados em fontes de informação identificadas, sejam estudos, investigadores ou bases de dados";

"(...) although the title posits an increase in terrorist attacks perpetrated by jihadists during Ramadan, this conclusion is counterbalanced in the body of the news piece with other studies that state that, in that period, terrorism has less popular support among the members of religious fundamentalism. (...) Finally all data presented in the news piece are supported by identified information sources, namely studies, researchers or databases".

DISCLAIMERThe information presented here is collected under contract by the FRA's research network FRANET. The information and views contained do not necessarily reflect the views or the official position of the FRA.