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M.Y v. M.X, Arrêt n° 99-10.928, Cour de cassation, 1re civile, 6
mars 2001

Facts: the applicant M.Y brought a claim against M.X for violatinghis right to privacy by publishing an article about the situationof his ex-wife Mme. Z and about the Muslim religion. M.X stated inhis article that the previous marriage between Mme. Z and M.Y wasnot legally terminated so he invited people who were to be presentat the ceremony to "take their responsibilities", meaning theyshould not attend it if they followed the precepts of the Muslimreligion.

Procedure: The court in first instance ruled in favor of the plaintiff (decision of the Cour d'Appel of Saint-Denis de la Réunion, 23 octobre 1998) The defendant appealed before the Cour de Cassation, claiming that he did not violate article 9(1) of the European Convention and article 9 of the French civil Code protecting the freedom to religious beliefs.

Holding: the Cour de Cassation upheld the judgment below in favor of M.Y.

Reasoning: the article aimed at revealing to the general public the religious practice of the plaintiff M.Y, at discrediting him in the eyes of the Muslim Community and at stirring up discriminatory behaviors. The defendant therefore violated the plaintiff's right to a private life and to freedom of religion.

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