Armenian PM wins Pashinyan v Armenia case in Strasbourg court
Armenian PM wins Pashinyan v Armenia case
The European Court of Human Rights issued a verdict in the case of Pashinyan v. Armenia. The ECHR recognised the violation of Nikol Pashinyan’s rights to freedom of assembly and expression, personal integrity, liberty and security during the events of 2008, when the current Prime Minister of Armenia was still an oppositionist and got arrested on charges of organizing mass riots and sentenced to 7 years.
Lawsuits against Armenia were submitted to the ECtHR in 2010 and 2011 and concerned the events that took place in Yerevan after the 2008 presidential elections.
Nikol Pashinyan did not file claims for material compensation with the European Court.
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During the 2008 presidential elections, Nikol Pashinyan represented presidential candidate Levon Ter-Petrosyan [Armenia’s first president, resigned in 1998].
The Central Electoral Commission recognized presidential candidate Serzh Sargsyan as the winner of the elections. However, supporters of the political bloc led by ex-president Levon Ter-Petrosyan demanded that the election results be reviewed. They claimed that in reality, Ter-Petrosyan had won.
10 days after the announcement of the election results, thousands of people did not leave the streets, participating in demonstrations around the clock. On March 1, 2008, the authorities decided to disperse the demonstration, using weapons and killing ten people – eight civilians and two police officers.
After these events, Nikol Pashinyan went underground for a year and four months due to accusations of organizing mass riots.
On July 1, 2010, he voluntarily came to the prosecutor’s office, was arrested and sentenced to seven years. One year and 11 months later, he was granted an amnesty amid the 20th anniversary of Armenia’s independence. Opposition politicians claimed that the authorities were forced to take this step under pressure from international community.
After the Velvet revolution of 2018, led by Pashinyan, and after being elected head of government, he announced “the inevitability of reopening the case on March 1”.
It was, indeed, revived after the Pashinyan government came to power. The charge of “ overthrowing constitutional order”, was brought against ex-president Robert Kocharyan, who at the time of the events of March 1 was the current president, former defense minister Seyran Ohanyan, former chief of the General Staff Yuri Khachaturov.
On April 6, 2021, a court in Yerevan terminated the criminal prosecution under the article “overthrow of the constitutional order” against former President Robert Kocharyan due to the lack of evidence. The court took into account the decision of the Constitutional Court of Armenia to recognize the article under which the ex-president was accused as unconstitutional.