ECHR orders Azerbaijan to pay €30,000 to Armenian applicant

ECHR orders Azerbaijan to pay €30,000 to Armenian applicant

PanARMENIAN.Net - The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has published the judgement in the case Badalyan v. Azerbaijan, obliging the latter to pay €30,000 to the former as non-pecuniary damage.

An Armenian national named Artur Badalyan lodged a complaint against Azerbaijan in August 2011, accusing Baku of ill-treatment during detention in violation of Article 3 of the Convention and unlawful detention in violation of Article 5, having been subjected to harsh torture and mental anguish.

On May 9, 2009 the applicant disappeared and was captured by the Azerbaijani forces. His relatives contacted the Armenian authorities, after which he was registered as a missing person in Armenia and a search for him was undertaken. However, his whereabouts remained unknown to his family and the Armenian authorities until November 5, 2010 when he was registered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as an Armenian captive held in Azerbaijan. Thereafter the applicant was regularly visited by the ICRC in detention until March 17, 2011 when he was released to the Armenian authorities through the mediation of the ICRC as part of an exchange of captives.

Following his arrest by the Azerbaijani forces, the applicant was held captive for 22 months in different military facilities. He said he was not given enough food and was often not allowed to go to the toilet, thus having to care for his needs in the cell. Moreover, he was subjected to harsh torture and mental anguish, as he was deemed to be a military prisoner, and was regularly harassed to divulge information. He was often beaten on his legs, so that he could not feel or move them. Electric wires were frequently attached to his fingers and the power switched on, causing severe pains. His cell door was hit with metallic objects, as a result of which he now suffers from a hearing disorder.

Furthermore, he was not informed of the reasons for his detention in a language that he understood, he was never brought before an officer of the law and he was deprived of the possibility to challenge the lawfulness of his detention. As a civilian, he should have been released immediately by the Azerbaijani authorities. The applicant also claimed that, during his captivity in Azerbaijan, his health condition was never recorded or documented.

The Court examined the case and declared that that there, indeed, has been a violation of Article 3 and Article 5 of the Convention.

Azerbaijan was also ordered to pay the applicant €30,000 (thirty-thousand euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non‑pecuniary damage.

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