Verdict after ten years of impunity


Ten years after the explosion of the DIY pub, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Republic of Armenia had failed to protect the rights of Armine Oganezova.

The court, in particular, found that the state, having not taken into account Armine Oganezova’s allegations about the homophobic motives of the perpetrators, did not conduct a proper investigation of the case and did not protect the victim from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

The court found that the constant harassment of Armine Oganezova, the arson attack, the subsequent attacks on her motivated by homophobic hatred, and the negative attitude towards members of the LGBT community, in general, must have caused her fear and anxiety. As a result, the human right to protection from inhumane, degrading treatment, enshrined in Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, has been violated. Given the perpetrators’ motives, the violation occurred in combination with the violation of Article 14, that is, the right to non-discrimination.

The court also referred to the legislative gap, in which crimes committed on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity cannot be effectively investigated.

Referring to the recent regulations on hate speech, the court noted that sexual orientation and gender identity are not included as a feature protected from hate speech. The court also stated that it was on this basis that Armine Oganezova appeared as the target of hate speech.

Thus, the atmosphere of impunity for a decade was broken by a fair decision of the court, under which the Republic of Armenia is obliged to provide compensation to the victim for non-pecuniary damage and address the issues in the legislative field.

It should be noted that this is the first case of law violation based on sexual orientation when the European Court recognized a human rights violation by the Republic of Armenia.