As a result of the Application brought before the European Court of Human Rights, Hovhannes Ghazaryan - who was accused of participating in mass riots and whose rights were protected by HCA Vanadzor advocate Ani Chatinyan - received a compensation of EUR 1000 by the Government in January 2021.
Hovh. Ghazaryan, a participant of mass riots that occurred after the capture of the RA Police Patrol Guard Service Regiment, was arrested and charged under Article 225 part 2 of the RA Criminal Code (participating in mass riots). Then, the General Jurisdiction Court of Arabkir and Kanaker-Zeytun Administrative Districts of Yerevan city once again extended his detention.
Hovh. Ghazaryan mentions, “Two policemen give testimony that I threw a stone at a policeman and based on that, I get detained. This is unacceptable for me , they should have been at least made liable”.
The Appeal Court, examining the case, qualified the first instance court decision as groundless and illegal, stressing particularly the lack of compelling reasons for applying the strictest measure of restraint, i.e., detention, low degree of danger in the action Ghazaryan was charged with, his not being convicted previously, as well as the conditions he had been held in (the cells were about 30 square meters, where 12-13 persons were held, which does not go in line with the European standards). The Appeal Court upheld Ani Chatinyan’s appeal and overturned the decision to extend the detention for two more months. Hovh. Ghazaryan was released from the court sessions hall and was acquitted in June 2018. Besides, in 2019, Yerevan Court of First Instance upheld Ani Chatinyan’s claim of compensation for non-pecuniary damage, in the amount of AMD 2 million.
For the protection of Hovh. Ghazaryan’s rights, Ani Chatinyan applied to all the circles of local justice and to the ECHR in 2017 on the ground of violation of Article 5 (Right to liberty and security) and Article 11 (Freedom of assembly and association) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Achieving a friendly settlement based on the ECHR decision, the RA Government admitted that they had violated Hovh. Ghazaryan’s right to liberty and security and compensated the damage caused with EUR 1000.
“HCA Vanadzor advocate Ani Chatinyan did a great job; when I was in detention, my family didn’t have an opportunity to hire an advocate, but luckily, the Organization assisted by protecting my rights”, Hovhannes says.
RA courts mainly use the strictest of all the measures of restraint, i.e., detention, when it is possible to use milder measures. This decision has a crucial role for eliminating this widespread vicious practice.
It is noteworthy that the RA Government admitted that application of detention was not sufficiently justified and that Hovh. Ghazaryan’s rights were violated, and the matter was solved by friendly settlement.