Activist Neil Datta has been sued by Ordo Iuris for infringement of the personal rights of the Institute. As the secretary of the organisation called the European Parliamentary Forum on Sexual and Reproductive Rights, he spoke in the European Parliament on 24 February 2021. His statement contained a great deal of manipulated information on the Institute, accusing the foundation e.g. of allegedly creating “LGBT-free zones”, and promoting the legalisation of domestic violence.
The situation took place during a public hearing of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM). During most of the speech, Neil Datta presented biased and manipulated information about the activities of Ordo Iuris. The speech, illustrated with a slide show, contained statements that violated the personal rights of the Institute, holding it accountable for an unrealistic agenda and actions and showing it in bad light, thus violating the good name and reputation of the foundation. According to the Brussels activist, Ordo Iuris pursues an agenda that includes e.g. the creation of LGBT-free zones, legalisation of domestic violence and criminalisation of comprehensive sexual education.
Neil Datta’s statement was streamed live on the European Parliament’s website and interpreted into all official languages of the European Union. It was also rebroadcast by various media, including Polish. Due to the fact that this has not been Neil Datta’s first attack on Ordo Iuris, the Institute decided to take action demanding – in order to nullify the consequences of the infringement of personal rights – that Neil Datta publish a statement with an apology and pays compensation.
“Attributing clearly untrue objectives to an institution that is proactive in the public debate and offers matter-of-fact contributions is an infringement of its personal rights, good name and reputation. It must be emphasised, though, that it was not the criticism of the Institute or the polemic on its activities or publications that infringed on Ordo Iuris personal rights. This is of course acceptable and Neil Datta is entitled under freedom of speech to present his own opinions and views. Nevertheless, freedom of speech does not entitle him to speak about someone in an unfair and untrue manner”, emphasised Jakub Słoniowski, lawyer with the Ordo Iuris Litigation Centre.
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