The European Court of Human Rights yesterday ruled that the Republic of Armenia must pay a total of EUR9000 to two Armenians -Venera Antonyan and Zhirayr Sefilyan.
Antonyan v. Armenia (application no. 3946/05)
The applicant, Venera Antonyan, is an Armenian national who was born in 1937 and lives in Yerevan. The case concerned a flat in Yerevan which had been allocated to her during the Soviet period under a tenancy agreement and which she had acquired ownership of in 1993 when it had been privatised. In 1981 she had agreed to register her niece (now deceased) at her flat and subsequently her two children. Relying on Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property) of the European Convention on Human Rights, she complained that in 2004 the Armenian authorities had refused to cancel the registration at her flat of her late niece's children and had required her to pay them compensation in order to terminate their right to live in the flat.
Violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1
Just satisfaction: 3,000 euros (EUR) (non-pecuniary damage)
Sefilyan v. Armenia (no. 22491/08)
The applicant, Zhirayr Sefilyan, is a Lebanese national who was born in 1967 and lives in Yerevan. He holds leading positions in several non governmental organisations, including the Unity of Armenian Volunteers, and is an active critic of the Armenian authorities. In
December 2006 he was arrested and charged with making calls for a violent overthrow of the government during a speech he had given at a meeting organised by the Unity of Armenian Volunteers. He was also accused of keeping a weapon without a permit after his demobilisation in 1998. In August 2007 he was acquitted of the first charge and found guilty of the second and sentenced to one year and six months' imprisonment.
Relying on Article 5 §§ 1, 3 and 4 (right to liberty and security) of the Convention, he made a number of complaints about his detention and its extension. Notably, he alleged that his detention between 10 and 22 June 2007 had been unlawful as it had not been authorised by a court, that the courts had refused to grant bail without providing reasons and that proceedings in February 2007 concerning his continued detention had not been adversarial. Further relying on Article 8 (right to respect for correspondence), Mr Sefilyan also complained that his telephone conversations had been tapped for six months in 2006 and that at that time Armenian law, lacking clear and detailed rules on secret surveillance, had not provided sufficient safeguards against possible abuse.
Violation of Article 5 § 1 (unlawfulness of detention between 10 and 22 June 2007)
Violation of Article 5 § 3 (failure to provide relevant and sufficient reasons forcontinued detention)
Violation of Article 5 § 4 (in that the proceedings in February 2007 concerning Mr Sefilyan continued detention had not been adversarial)
Violation of Article 8
Just satisfaction: EUR 6,000 (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 55 (costs and expenses)