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Armenian Authorities Have Yet to Implement European Court Judgement: Press

The European Court of Human Rights issued on March 31, 2015, a judgement in favour of the family of Nalbandyans who had lodged a complaint with the Court, alleging that they – spouses Narine and Bagrat Nalbandyan, and their daughter Arevik Nalbandyan – had been ill-treated while in police custody, that Armenian law enforcement authorities had failed to conduct an effective investigation into their allegations of ill-treatment and had deprived them of effective legal assistance. In an interview with Hraparak newspaper, however, Seda Safaryan, a lawyer for the applicants, accused Armenia's Court of Cassation of hushing up the case and said that Narine Nalbandyan still continues serving her 14-year prison sentence. Hence, Safaryan added, she intended to file another complaint with ECHR.

The Nalbandyans were arrested in June 2004 in Vardenis in connection with the murder of a local girl who was apparently Arevik's classmate. The girl, whose body was found in a well not far from the applicants’ home, had appeared to have been heavily beaten and tortured before being killed. The entire family of Nalbandyans were soon taken into police custody and subjected to beatings and torture by police officers in an attempt to coerce them to confess to the murder, according to their application.

Following the ECHR's acquittal, Seda Safaryan appealed to the Cassation Court of Armenia to overturn the 2005 ruling and send the case for further investigation. However, as stated by the lawyer, the hearing of the case has been unreasonably delayed for more than a year, despite the expiry of all time limits. “By law, the court should order a hearing within three months [from the date on which the ECHR judgement enters into force], which the Cassation Court has yet to do,” Safaryan told Hraparak.