|ECtHR Finds Armenia in Violation of its International Obligations in Three KHRP-Assisted Cases|
KHRP welcomes yesterday’s decisions by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) to find Armenia in violation of Articles 3, 6(1) and 6(3) of the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as Article 2 of Protocol No. 7, with respect to the KHRP-assisted cases of Lavrent Kirakosyan, Arman Mkhitaryan and Myasnik Tadevosan.
All three applicants, members of political opposition parties, were arrested at home amid opposition rallies challenging the legitimacy of the re-elected Armenian President in March 2003. They were each given ten days’ administrative detention for allegedly disobeying the lawful orders of the police and using obscene language.
KHRP and its partners argued that the conditions in which the applicants were held were incompatible with Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) and that the applicants had not been afforded a fair hearing, as required by Article 6. Further complaints were made under Article 13, on the grounds that the applicants had had no right to contest decisions made in their cases. The Court decided to examine the latter part of the complaints under Article 2 of Protocol No. 7 (right of appeal in criminal matters).
The Court held that in all three cases the conditions of the applicants’ detention amounted to inhuman or degrading treatment. Furthermore, the Court found that the judicial proceedings against the applicants were unfair and that they had not been granted a clear and accessible right to appeal in their criminal cases.
‘This decision represents an important victory for human rights in Armenia,’ said KHRP Legal Director Lucy Claridge. ‘It is especially significant in light of the many more KHRP-assisted cases currently underway relating to similar targeting of opposition activists by the Armenian authorities in recent years. The latest ruling underlines KHRP’s longstanding call for Armenia to ensure that its judicial procedures and detention conditions are in line with its international obligations.’