Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

A human fate․ Hovhannes Ghazaryan

December 29, 2019

Legal Support | Legal Support | Project։ Stability of HCA Vanadzor in the light of democracy and human rights challenges in the Republic of Armenia 2019 | Success stories | Publications | Multimedia

Hovhannes Ghazaryan’s success story commenced in 2017 when he was released from detention due to the legal support by HCA Vanadzor. 


HCA Vanadzor Chairman Artur Sakunts holds that from the point of view of restoring a violated right, such a decision by the Court has a precedent role in the establishment of the institute of compensation for non-pecuniary damage.


Hovhannes has been illegally held imprisoned for months on end despite the decision of the Court, which was also illegal and groundless. The RA competent bodies violated H. Ghazaryan’s right to freedom and personal inviolability by holding him imprisoned for more than six months without sufficient grounds.

The RA Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the complaint lodged by HCA Vanadzor lawyer Ani Chatinyan, who was Hovhannes Ghazaryan’s defender, and  overturned the decision made on January 23, 2017, by the RA General Jurisdiction Court of Yerevan city Arabkir and Kanaker-Zeytun Administrative Districts to extend the detention on remand for two months and abolished detention as a preventive measure.  On February 13, 2017, Hovhannes was released from the court session hall and was acquitted in June 2018.  


Let us remind that Hovhannes Ghazaryan was charged under Article 225 of the RA Criminal Code (use of violence by a mass disorder participant[….]armed resistance against the representative of the Government).


The arguments regarding the charge and the extension of the detention on remand were completely groundless, as during the preliminary investigation that lasted for months on end, no essential substantive conditions were discovered. 


Hovhannes and his defender, HCA Vanadzor lawyer Ani Chatinyan hold that this way the authorities were trying to silence the protestors by “threatening” that the same fate awaits those who dare to go on the streets and exercise their constitutional right. Appealing the decisions on extending the detention on remand in all the circles of local justice, Ani Chatinyan also applied to the European Court of Human Rights. 


The Appeal Court did not find the reasoning by the investigative body and the Court of First Instance that the results of the expertise has not yet been received as a sufficient ground to hold him detained. Besides, the Court touched upon the low level of danger of the action  with which Ghazaryan was charged, the fact that he had not been convicted before and many other conditions. Taking all this into consideration, the RA Court of Criminal Appeals qualified the decision of the Court of First Instance as groundless and illegal. The Appeal Court stressed in its decision that the Court has to have compelling reasons to use detention as the strictest preventive measure, but in H.Ghazaryan’s case there were no such conditions. 


Excited by the successful start of the case, HCA Vanadzor lawyer Ani Chatinyan also applied to the Court claiming a compensation for non-pecuniary damage substantiating the application by the fact that H.Ghazaryan had been held in inhuman conditions, and claimed AMD 15,748,144 compensation for Hovhannes. The Court upheld the application by 2 million Armenian drams. Ani Chatinyan finds this judgment to be one of the Organization’s successes, since HCA Vanadzor has been engaged in human rights protection for years on end and had not recorded such a result before. It was quite felicitous and necessary for the establishment and stability of the institute of compensation for non-pecuniary damage.


You can find the details of the story in the video.



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