It is seen by most as a luxury item that allows people to beam all the latest world sports and Holywood movies into their living rooms.But in accordance with the laws set by the European Court owing a satellite dish could actuall be a human right.
In an amazing ruling lawmakers in Strasbourg have warned that banning dishes on listed buildings, private houses and social house could breach the right of freedom of expression by preventing people to practice religion. This is stark contrast to other parts of the world .(e.g Private ownership of satellite dishes is illegal in Hong Kong and Singapore , where international TV broadcasts are only allowed through state regulated broadcasters)
The judgement is a massive blow to campaigners who have fought to stop the unsightly satellite dishes spoliling the apperance of historic buildings and listed properties.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), Britain’s discrimination watchdog, has now published new guidance warning that landlords could be at risk of being sued if they try to stop their tenants putting up a satellite dish.
A couple in Sweden recently took their government to court after they were evicted by their landlord in a dispute over installing a satellite dish on their home.
European judges ruled that the Swedish government had failed in its obligation to protect the tenants right to receive information. It found that satellite dishes come under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
In its guidance, Britain’s equalities watchdog suggested that a disabled resident who received transmissions of religious broadcasts held overseas would have their rights to freedom of religion breached if their landlord stopped the installation of satellite dishes
The European Commission’s Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein said: ‘The right to use a satellite dish is one of the many concrete benefits for European consumers of the free movement of goods and services within the internal market.
‘Satellite dishes are an increasingly accepted tool for receiving multiple services via satellite: they facilitate mutual exchanges between our various cultures by overcoming national borders, and familiarise the general public with the new remote communications technologies. Their use must therefore be free from any unjustified barrier.’