Wednesday, July 17, 2024

ECHR obliges Armenia to pay €23,500 to family of dead army officer

The case concerned the death of the applicants’ son and brother, Lieutenant Artak Nazaryan, who committed suicide during his military service in 2010, and the subsequent investigation.

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The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday delivered a judgement in the case of Vardanyan and Khalafyan v. Armenia.

The case concerned the death of the applicants’ son and brother, Lieutenant Artak Nazaryan, who committed suicide during his military service in 2010, and the subsequent investigation.

Relying on Articles 2 (right to life), 10 (freedom of expression) and 13 (right to an effective remedy) of the European Convention on Human Rights, the applicants, Hasmik Hovhannisyan and Tsovinar Nazaryan, complained about his death and alleged that the investigation into the matter was ineffective.

In its judgement, the European Court held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 2 – substantive aspect (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights and a violation of Article 2 – procedural aspect (right to life: obligation to conduct an effective investigation).

The court found in particular that, due to the absence of any system of psychological assistance in the military forces, no such support had been available to Nazaryan despite the apparent risk that he might commit suicide. Furthermore, the authorities had failed to take appropriate and effective measures to prevent that known risk from materializing.

Therefore, the state had failed to comply with its obligation to take appropriate measures to safeguard his life during his military service. The ECHR also considered that the investigation conducted in the case had not been sufficiently thorough and had failed to protect the applicants’ interests and to enable them to properly exercise their rights.

The European Court obliged Armenia to pay the applicants jointly €20,000 in respect of nonpecuniary damage and €3,500 in respect of costs and expenses.

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