Armenian PM wins Pashinyan case against Armenia
The European Court of Human Rights rendered a verdict in the case by Pashinyan c. Armenia. The ECHR recognized the violation of Nikol Pashinyan’s rights to freedom of assembly and expression, personal integrity, liberty and security during the events of 2008, when the current Prime Minister of Armenia was still a opponent and was arrested for organizing mass riots and sentenced to 7 years.
Cases against Armenia were submitted to the ECHR in 2010 and 2011 and related to events in Yerevan after the 2008 presidential elections.
Nikol Pashinyan has not filed material compensation claims with the European Court.
In the 2008 presidential elections, Nikol Pashinyan represented presidential candidate Levon Ter-Petrosyan [Armenia’s first president, resigned in 1998].
The Central Election Commission recognized presidential candidate Serzh Sargsyan as the winner of the elections. However, supporters of the political bloc led by ex-president Levon Ter-Petrosyan demanded that the election results be reviewed. They claimed that in reality Ter-Petrosyan won.
10 days after the election results were announced, thousands of people did not leave the streets, taking part in round-the-clock demonstrations. On March 1, 2008, the authorities decided to disperse the demonstration using weapons and killing ten people – eight civilians and two policemen.
After these events, Nikol Pashinyan went into hiding for a year and four months on charges of organizing mass riots.
On July 1, 2010, he voluntarily came to the prosecutor’s office, was arrested and sentenced to seven years. A year and 11 months later, he was granted amnesty amid Armenia’s 20th independence anniversary. Opposition politicians claimed that the authorities had been forced to take this step under pressure from the international community.
After the 2018 Velvet Revolution, led by Pashinyan, and after being elected head of government, he announced “the inevitability of reopening the file on March 1”.
It was indeed revived after the Pashinyan government came to power. The charge of “overthrowing the constitutional order” was brought against ex-president Robert Kocharian, who at the time of the March 1 events was the current president, former defense minister Seyran Ohanyan, the former Chief of Staff Yuri Khachaturov.
On April 6, 2021, a court in Yerevan terminated criminal proceedings under the article “overthrow of the constitutional order” against former President Robert Kocharyan due to lack of evidence. The court took into account the decision of the Constitutional Court of Armenia to recognize the article under which the ex-president was accused of unconstitutionality.