ECHR announces its decision on Armenian citizens vs Azerbaijan cases
The European Court of Human Rights announced 4 decisions on 51 claims against Azerbaijan and fined the country’s government in the total amount of 239,450 euros [approximately $ 277,800]. Two decisions were made in cases of violation of citizens’ electoral rights. In the coming days, the ECHR will announce its decisions on two claims of Armenian citizens against Azerbaijan.
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Violation of electoral rights
On October 28, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) announced its four decisions on 51 claims from Azerbaijan. t
Two decisions relate to cases of violation of the electoral rights of citizens in Azerbaijan. In the course of two such trials, the parties came to an agreement; in the other two, the court took into account the unilateral petitions from the government.
The Azerbaijani government was fined for a total of 239,450 euros [approximately $ 277,800] in four decisions on 51 plaintiffs.
According to the Arzu Samadbeyli and Others v. Azerbaijan case, the plaintiffs nominated themselves from opposition parties in the 2015 parliamentary elections. Some of the voters’ signatures were invalidated and their candidacies were not registered.
The plaintiffs argued that there was an interference with their electoral rights but the Central Election Commission and local courts did not satisfy their complaints.
At the communication stage, the government acknowledged the violations pointed out in the claims. Although the majority of the plaintiffs rejected the offer to receive compensation, the ECHR took the government’s request into account. According to the court’s decision, each of the 37 plaintiffs will be paid compensation in the amount of 4,750 euros [$ 5,510], 3 plaintiffs will receive 5,000 euros [$ 5,800], and the government will pay 4,500 euros [$ 5,220] to another plaintiff.
The Mubariz Rahimli and Others v. Azerbaijan, also addressed the issue of excluding plaintiffs from the 2015 parliamentary elections and the 2016 rerun parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan. The CEC refused to register candidates due to the invalidity of some of the voters’ signatures. Local courts and the Central Election Commission ignored the plaintiffs’ complaints.
During the communication stage, the plaintiffs entered into a friendly agreement with the government of the country. According to the decision of the European Court, 4 plaintiffs will receive compensation from the government in the amount of 4,750 euros [$ 5,510], and two plaintiffs – 5,000 euros [$ 5,800].
Arrested for religious beliefs
According to the materials of the Emil Mehdiyev and Vahid Abilov v. Azerbaijan case, the plaintiffs are members of the religious society of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They refused to undergo compulsory military service because of their religious beliefs, but were prosecuted for this. They were imprisoned for one year.
The plaintiffs challenged in the European court the interference with their freedom of religion.
At the stage of communication, the government admitted that it had violated the rights of the plaintiffs. The ECHR took into account the unilateral petition of the Azerbaijani authorities and awarded each of the two plaintiffs 3,500 euros [$ 4,060] in compensation.
Citizens of Armenia vs Azerbaijan
On November 4, the European Court of Human Rights will announce two more decisions on the cases filed against Azerbaijan. Both decisions relate to the claims filed by the citizens of Armenia.
According to Khojoyan and Others v. Azerbaijan, the plaintiffs are Hasmik Khojyan, Yeghine Vardazaryan and Haykaz Khojyan (deceased). They are citizens of Armenia and were born in 1964, 1967 and 1959, respectively.
The court case is related to the allegations of the complainants of the detention and bad treatment of their father at the beginning of 2014 on the territory of Azerbaijan. The plaintiffs’ father left his home, located in Armenia and close to the border with Azerbaijan, in the morning hours of January 28, 2014. Two days later, reports spread about his detention in Azerbaijan. He was handed over to Armenia on March 4, 2014. The man passed away 10 weeks later.
The Diary of the European Court writes that, according to the plaintiffs, paragraphs 2 (right to life), 3 (prohibition of torture), 5 (right to liberty and security), 13 (right to an effective legal remedy) and 14 (prohibition of discrimination ) European convention were violated.
According to the materials of the Petrosyan v. Azerbaijan case, the plaintiff Artush Petrosyan is an Armenian citizen, born in 1957 and residing in Chinari (Armenia).
The plaintiff’s son, born in 1981, crossed the border with Azerbaijan on August 7, 2014. He was detained by Azerbaijani servicemen and died in the territory of Azerbaijan.
The plaintiff disputes the violation of paragraphs 2 (right to life), 3 (prohibition of torture), 5 (right to liberty and security), 8 (right to respect for private and family life), 13 (right to an effective legal remedy) and 14 ( prohibition of discrimination) of the European convention.