The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled against Baku on October 5 based on the complaint of the parents of imprisoned Karen Ghazaryan. A violation of the rights guaranteed by the European Convention has been recorded. Baku notably violated Karen Ghazaryan’s rights to the prohibition of torture (article 3), freedom and personal integrity (article 5 in several points). Baku is forced to pay 10,000 EURO to Karen Ghazaryan. as compensation for moral damage and EUR 3,225 for legal costs.
Karen Ghazaryan’s parents filed an application with the ECHR in 2018. The European Court was told that their son suffered from mental health problems. Karen in 2018. On the night of July 15, he left his house in the border village of Berdavan in Tavush Marz and did not return.
Karen’s parents last saw her around 2:30 a.m. when she was going downstairs to get a glass of water. He wasn’t in his room in the morning. His cell phone, wallet and cigarettes were left in the room. Items that Karen’s parents say she would never leave home without.
The weather was bad that day with strong winds and heavy rain, and the village’s electricity was cut off. The parents thought their son had gone to check the electrical generator.
However, in the morning of the same day, the Baku Ministry of Defense announced that a “subversive” armed group had attempted to invade the territory of Azerbaijan and that Armenian detective Karen Ghazaryan had been arrested. Baku media published a photo of Karen Ghazaryan, wearing a black military uniform and a black hat, and her face was smeared with black paint. The applicants claimed that she did not wear such clothes when she left the house.
Spokespeople for the Armenian police and the Defense Ministry said Karen Ghazaryan did not serve in the Armenian armed forces due to illness. It was also noted that the Minister of Defense, as chairman of the Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons, requested the Yerevan office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to make efforts for the return of Karen Ghazaryan. .
A few days after Karen Ghazaryan’s disappearance, ICRC representatives visited the parents. They informed that Karen was detained in Baku and offered to deliver a letter to her son through them.
On August 16, 2018, the parents met with ICRC representatives again and reported that their son suffered from mental illness, had been under the supervision of a doctor for 5 years and regularly took medication . The applicants note that the ICRC representatives promised to transmit this information to their representatives in Baku.
During another meeting with the ICRC, the parents had the opportunity to speak with an ICRC doctor in Baku. According to the applicants, the ICRC doctor expressed serious doubts that Karen Ghazaryan suffers from any mental illness, noting that she is in perfect health and does not need any medication.
Since then, Karen’s parents have contacted the ICRC several times with information and concerns regarding their son’s health.
On February 27, 2019, Karen Ghazaryan was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sabotage and terrorist attacks in Baku.
On May 8 of the same year, the ICRC doctor told Karen’s parents that their son’s mental state was worrying. The doctor said that although Karen Ghazaryan remained under the supervision of Azerbaijani doctors, her treatment was not documented. As a result, the doctor asked the Baku Ministry of Health to conduct a new examination.
After the 44-day war in Artsakh, a tripartite agreement was signed between the leaders of Armenia, Russia and Baku, also providing for the exchange of prisoners. On December 14, 2020, Karen Ghazaryan was transferred to Armenia with other Armenian prisoners.
The next day, Karen Ghazaryan was transferred to the Avan mental health center for a medical examination and treatment. His behavior was not satisfactory. He was unable to control his behavior or coordinate his movements and words.
The Baku government informed the ECtHR that Karen Ghazaryan was not subjected to any moral or physical pressure from prisoners or prison management, doctors or employees, and that she did not neither been subjected to torture nor to inhuman or degrading treatment.
Karen Ghazaryan’s parents said their son was in a vulnerable state, without contact with the outside world. He received no human rights guarantees because the authorities in Baku considered him a prisoner of war. He was kept in a hostile and discriminatory environment because of his ethnicity.
The ECHR noted that the facts did not demonstrate that Karen Ghazaryan was adequately protected against arbitrary detention, as the Baku government had not provided the court with any information to verify this information. What happened is enough to conclude that the detention of Karen Ghazaryan was not ensured as co-responsible
Ghazaryan and Bayramyan v. Azerbaijan (no. 33050/18) The applicants, Armen Ghazaryan and Astghik Bayramyan, were born in 1959 and 1958 respectively, and live in the village of Berdavan, in Armenia, a few kilometers from the border with Azerbaijan. The case concerns the applicants’ son, aged thirty-nine, who was arrested in July 2018 in Azerbaijan, not far from Berdavan, where he lived with his parents. Azerbaijani courts subsequently found him guilty of conspiracy to commit acts of sabotage and terrorist attacks and sentenced him to twenty years’ imprisonment. He was returned to Armenia in December 2020, as part of a detainee exchange.
Relying in particular on Articles 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) and 5 (right to liberty and security) of the Convention, the applicants complain about the capture, detention and trial of their son. Violation of Article 5 § 1 with regard to the applicants’ son Violation of Article 5 § 3 with regard to the applicants’ son No violation of Article 5 § 4 with regard to the applicants’ son Violation of Article 3 with regard to the applicants’ son No violation of Article 3 with regard to the applicants Just satisfaction: Non-pecuniary damage: EUR 10,000 concerning the applicants’ son Costs and expenses: EUR 3,225.