Armenia’s Court of Appeal has upheld the decision of the Defense Ministry to ban access by relatives of deceased soldiers and civil society actors to information concerning non-combat fatal incidents in the country’s armed forces.
At a hearing Friday, the court denied a request by Peace Dialogue NGO to annul the ministry’s decision. Speaking to Epress.am after the hearing, NGO head Edgar Khachatryan said they intended to file an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights once they’ve exhausted all domestic legal remedies to challenge the ban.
In January, 2015, Peace Dialogue NGO filed a lawsuit against the Defense Ministry for its refusal to provide information on non-combat military deaths. Officials, however, responded to the claim only eight months later, stating that “effective August 13, 2015, all information concerning the non-combat deaths of soldiers is classified according to a new Executive order.” The organization subsequently filed a complaint with the Appeal Court, challenging the Defense Minister’s executive order.