IN PRACTICE, the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, includes…
… the right to practice one’s religion freely: States must uphold this right, protected by Article 9.
In 1993, the Court found that there had been a violation of Article 9 in the Kokkinakis v. Greece case. Minos Kokkinakis, a Jehovah’s Witness, was arrested more than 60 times for proselytising.
… State neutrality: states must not interfere in the internal affairs of a religious community.
In 2000, the Court found that there had been a violation of Article 9 in the Hasan and Chaush v. Bulgaria case. The applicants, a former Chief Mufti of the Bulgarian Muslims and a teacher of Islam, complained about the Bulgarian authorities’ decision to change the leadership and statute of the Muslim community. The Court found that there had been interference with the internal organisation of the Muslim community and the applicants’ freedom of religion.