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ECtHR Obligates Armenia to Pay Compensation to a Former Prisoner

On Sunday, March 31, the European Court of Human Rights ruled against Armenia in the case of “Davtyan v. Armenia,” obligating the Republic of Armenia to compensate Artashes Davtyan in the amount of 9000 euros for non-pecuniary damages and 60 euros for costs and expenses, the official website of ECtHR reported. 

The case principally concerned Davtyan’s complaint about inadequate medical care in detention over a prolonged period of time. Relying in particular on Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights, Davtyan alleged that his continued detention, despite his poor health and without the requisite medical care, had caused him severe physical and mental pain and had put his life in danger. 

According to an official press release issued by ECtHR, Artashes Davtyan was arrested in March 2003 and charged with large-scale embezzlement. He was found guilty in November 2005 and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment. This judgment was later upheld on appeal, and Davtyan’s appeal on points of law was ultimately dismissed by the Court of Cassation in June 2006. He was released on parole in June 2006. 

Less than a month after Davtyan was placed in detention, doctors recommended that he have a biopsy of a tumour on his vocal chords as well as further examinations and treatment. Similar recommendations were made in January and April 2005. None of these recommendations were apparently followed up and, in March 2006 following a drastic deterioration in his health (which included him coughing blood, having asphyxia attacks and losing consciousness), Davtyan was transferred to an outside hospital for urgent surgery. He thus had two operations in March and April 2006 which improved his condition.

Epress.am spoke to Artashes Davtyan’s lawyer, Lusine Sahakyan, who said that they do not find the amount of compensation sufficient. Still, according to the lawyer, the fact that the court ruled Davtyan’s rights were violated is very important. 

“It’s vital from the standpoint of preventing such practices in the future and for finally abandoning such courses of action,” Sahakyan said.