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Kurdish Human Rights Project Welcomes ECtHR Judgment

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KHRP today welcomed a decision from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) regarding a case it lodged on behalf of Armenian national Maksim Gasparyan in August 2004.

In April of that year, Mr Gasparyan was arrested and detained by police in the Shengavit District for ‘disturbing public order’. Refuting this, Mr Gasparyan alleged that he was arrested in order to prevent him from attending a demonstration organised by the country’s opposition parties. Mr Gasparyan was refused access to a lawyer and at 10 pm on the same day, he was taken before a judge who duly sentenced him to eight days administrative detention for ‘maliciously disobeying the lawful order or demand of a police officer’.

In their judgement, the Court ruled that Armenia had violated the fair trial principles of Article 6 (1) and Article 6 (3) (b) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in failing to allow Mr Gasparyan adequate time to prepare his defence. It also found the Republic of Armenia to have violated Mr Gasparyan’s rights under Article 2 of Protocol No. 7 by failing to allow him to have his conviction reviewed by a higher tribunal.

‘This judgement is an important step in ensuring the application of the rule of law throughout the Caucasus,’ said Executive Director Kerim Yildiz. ‘We call upon the government of Armenia to protect the inherent right to free expression and access to justice as part of its obligations as a member of the Council of Europe.’

khrp@khrp.org www.khrp.org The Kurdish Human Rights Project is an independent, non-political human rights organisation dedicated to the promotion and protection of the human rights of all people in the Kurdish regions. It is a registered charity, founded and based in London.

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