European Court rules Azerbaijan violated Armenian’s right to life

European Court rules Azerbaijan violated Armenian’s right to life

PanARMENIAN.Net - The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Baku violated the right to life of Manvel Saribekyan, an Armenian national, while he was detained in Azerbaijan.

Saribekyan was arrested in Azerbaijan in September 2010. His family said he inadvertently crossed the border in the fog in a forest while looking for wood and stray cattle, however, the Azerbaijani authorities accused him of being a saboteur.

He was taken to the Military Police Department of the Ministry of Defence in Baku and placed in a cell, where he was found dead in October 2010, with the Azerbaijani authorities alleging that he had “hanged himself.”

The Armenian side believes, however, that Saribekyan was either killed or was forced to commit suicide.

The applicants, Mamikon Saribekyan and Siranush Balyan, are Manvel’s parents. They complained under Article 2 (right to life), Article 3 (prohibition of torture and of inhuman or degrading treatment), Article 13 (right to an effective remedy), and Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) in conjunction with Articles 2 and 3 that their son was tortured and killed in detention; that the Azerbaijani authorities did not carry out an effective investigation; that they had no effective legal remedy; and that the alleged violations occurred because of discrimination based on ethnic origin.

The court decided on Thursday, January 30 that there has been a violation of Articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and ordered Azerbaijan to pay €60,000 in non-pecuniary damage and €2,200 to cover costs and expenses.

The ruling also highlighted the Azerbaijani authorities’ failure to consider whether ethnic hatred had been a contributing factor in victim’s death and the torture to which he had been subjected, and their lack of communication with victim’s relatives and Armenian authorities.

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