ECHR rules Azerbaijan violated Armenian captives' right to life

ECHR rules Azerbaijan violated Armenian captives' right to life

PanARMENIAN.Net - The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday, November 4 that Azerbaijan is guilty of violating the rights of captured Armenian citizens and ordered Baku to pay €40,000 in non-pecuniary damages in two separate cases.

In 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 case concerns the captivity and ill-treatment of the applicants’ father, Mamikon Khojoyan, in Azerbaijan in early 2014. Khojoyan left his home in Armenia, close to the border with Azerbaijan on the morning of 28 January 2014. It was reported in the Azerbaijani news two days later that he was an armed guide of an Armenian sabotage group and was being detained.

He was handed over to the Armenian authorities on 4 March 2014 and died at home ten weeks later.

Relying on Article 2 (right to life), Article 3 (prohibition of torture), Article 5 (right to liberty and security), Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) and Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights, the applicants said that their father was tortured during his captivity, including severe beatings, being burnt with incandescent metal and drug injections, which had posed a danger to his life and which had not been investigated, that he was unlawfully deprived of his liberty, that they did not have an effective legal remedy and that the alleged violations occurred as a result of discrimination based on ethnic origin.

In another case, applicant Artush Petrosyan said hie son, Karen Petrosyan, born in 1981, lived with him in the village of Chinari, close to the border with Azerbaijan. On 7 August 2014 his son crossed the border into Azerbaijan and was captured by the Azerbaijani armed forces. He died while in captivity.

Relying on Article 2 (right to life), Article 3 (prohibition of torture), Article 5 (right to liberty and security), Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) and Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention, the applicant complained that his son was tortured and killed in illegal detention, that his body was not repatriated in a timely manner, that there was no effective investigation and that the alleged violations occurred as a result of discrimination based on ethnic origin.

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