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Case of Jailed Armenian Oppositionist Registered with ECHR

The case of jailed Armenian oppositionist, political prisoner Shant Harutyunyan, his minor son Shahen Harutyunyan, and political activist Vardan Vardanyan was registered on Octover 1 with the European Court of Human Rights, the young Harutyunyan wrote on his Facebook page on Monday, October 12.

“This is the first lawsuit in the history of the European Court passed in such a short time,” Harutyunyan stressed.

The appeal against the prison sentences handed down to the activists by Armenian courts was filed by attorney Inessa Petrosyan on September 17. As stated by the attorney in the ECHR application, a number of articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, among them –  freedom of expression, freedom to assembly, and right to a fair trial, as well as the right to the presumption of innocence, were violated in the course of the trial. Petrosyan, specifically, noted that Shant Harutyunyan's right to presumption of innocence was violated by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan who had said before the court ruling the oppositionist had “committed a crime.”

Recall, Shant Harutyunyan and 11 other men were arrested November 2013 in clashes with Armenian police during an anti-government demonstration. On October 17, 2014, the Kentron and Nork Marash District Court found Shant Harutyunyan and his supporters guilty for acts of hooliganism and handed down sentences ranging from 1 to 7 years. Shant Harutyunyan, specifically, was sentenced to 6 years' imprisonment, Vardan Vardanyan – to 5 years'. Shahen Harutyunyan received a suspended 4-year sentence.