Oganezova v Armenia



  • This case concerns the arson attack on 8 may 2012, on a club belonging to a lesbien LGBT activist.
  • On the 8th May 2012, the D.I.Y. club was the subject of an arson attack. Brothers A. and H. Khabazyans were charged under Article 185 Part 3 of the Criminal Code with the intentional infliction of damage to property, which has caused immense damage, particularly, accused ones, acquiring preliminary agreement, had broken the glass of the entrance door, then, in publicly dangerous way, had burned the club by petrol brought by them and escaped.
  • During the proceedings of the criminal case filed on 11.05.2012, the ”maid hand maid” LLC, which was the owner of the club, has been recognized as victim and Armine Oganezova as representative of the victim.
  • 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 fact that before the arson attack the club had been attacked by people, who had harassed and terrorized visitors of the club, comes to prove the abovementioned. As a result, most of LGBT people were afraid to be attacked by homophobeic groups in the club.
  • After the arson attack, threats to cause damage to life and health, threats of violence, and destruction of property towards Armine Oganezova continued. As a result of threats to life, Armine Oganezova left Armenia for Sweden.
  • As to Armine Oganezova’s conviction, the investigation of the case was incomplete, police didn’t even try to acquire all the possible proofs, refusing to realize appropriate investigative actions. The motive of the crime wasn’t taken into consideration and Oganezova, against whom the crime was committed, was not recognized as a victim. The precautionary measure applied against arrested ones was changed only after interference of deputies of the National Assambley, representatives of ”Armenian Revolutionary Federation party”.
  • The court of first instance of the RA condemned accused ones to imprisonment for two years, but applying the conditional sentence, set them free.
  • The Civil Court of Appeal of the Republic of Armenia rejected the claim of the Applicants entirely. Court of Cassation of the Republic of Armenia made a decision to reject to review the cassation appeal filed by the Applicants.
  • The State did not realize its obligation, particularly failed to protect people from offences, creating safe environment for them, as well as failed to call offenders to responsibility, allowing new offences to happen in future.

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 triess 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, national courts did not have opportunity to examine a case of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientaion, as an aggravating sircumstence of the crime, as the discrimination on mentioned ground wasn’t provided as an aggravating circumstance by the Criminal Code of the RA and is not concidered as a motive of crime. As a result, offenders managed to escape from responsibility.

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 party 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 standpoint of the European court of human right will be added.