Facts.

  • This case concerns the arson attack on the ”D.I.Y” club on 8 March 2012, after which some of public officials spread ideas justifying crimes, as well as discriminatory and hate speech towards the victim of the attack.
  • The arson attack, as the accused confessed initially, was because Armine Oganezova had participated in a gay pride march in Istanbul, and because the club was a place where members of the LGBT community socialised.
  • The case caused a huge wave of hatred and intolerance not only in the society, but also on the State level. The activity was encouraged not only by some groups of society but also by State officials.
  • Artsvik Minasyan, the deputy of the Armenian Revolutionary Party, when questioned on why he had provided sureties to the two men accused of the arson attack on the D.I.Y. club, stated in an interview that “in this case I am sure, that these young people behaved in the context of our societal and the national ideology, in a right way. […] I consider that her type, I don’t want to say a rude word, is destroying Armenian society.” That same evening a group of men entered the club and broke some of the remaining fixtures as well as drawing Nazi symbols and leaving threatening homophobic messages on the wall.
  • On the 18th May, Eduard Sharmazanov, the deputy speaker of National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, stated that “as an Armenian citizen and member of a national-conservative party, I find the rebellion of the two young Armenian people against the homosexuals, who have created a den of perversion in our country and have a goal of alienating the society from its moral values, completely right and justified.”
  • Concerning these statements ”Public information and need of knowliedge” NGO presented applications to the ”Ethic committee of the National Assembly of the RA” and to the ”Ethic committee of high-ranking officials” to call the state officials to responsibility. The applications were rejected.
  • Armine Oganezova submitted an application to the European court of human rights, without exhaustion of domestic judicial remedies, because of ineffectiveness of those remedies.

Strategic meaning of the case.

By submitting claims, applications to the national courts of the RA then to the European court of human rights, PINK Armenia aims to raise the problem of incompleteness and lack of legal regulations, other problems existing in practice and tries to find solutions by standpoints of international courts as well as to raise the public awareness.

The goal of strategic litigations is not only the protection of individual interests, but also is the recovery of social justice and creation of a safe environment for groups of society, who have or may have similar problems.

As a result of judicial precedents it will be possible to have changes not only in legal, but also in social and political fields.

In this case, the main problem was that the Criminal code of the RA does not provide regulation of hate speech, particularly prohibition of hate speech and spread of intolerance.  It gives possibility to courts to skip the nature and motive of a crime and to examine other elements of a crime.

Legal bases of the application presented to the European court of human rights.

The applicant contends that there have been violations of a number of rights guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (the Convention). In particular the applicant contends that the respondent state committed clear violations of Article 3 (the right to freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment), Article 8 (the right to respect for private and family life), and Article 10 (the right to freedom of expression). Additional claims are made in respect of Article 13 (effective remedy of violations of Article 3, 8 and 14) and Article 14 (non-discrimination) taken together with Articles 3, 8 and 13.

The position of the European court of human right will be added.