The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights have announced a new verdict on the case of "Chiragov and others vs Armenia”. According to the verdict, Armenian government should pay a fine of 5 thousand Euros for each plaintiff in material and psychological damages and 26.642 pounds for general expenses.
We should note that, the European Court for Human Rights issued a verdict on June 16, 2015 on the "Chiragov and others vs Armenia” case and declared that the Article 1, Protocol 1(inviolability of property), Article 8 (inviolability of private life) and Article 13 (right to a fair trial) of the European Human Rights Convention were violated.
The plaintiffs were Elkhan and Adishirin Chiragovs, Ramiz Jabrayilov, Akif Hasanov, Fakhraddin Pashayev and Qara Jabrayilov who has since passed away. The complaint was filed at the European Court of Human Rights on April 6, 2005. The case was transferred to the Grand Chamber of the court on March 9, 2010, and the first hearing in the Grand Chamber was held on September 15. On December 14, 2011, the ECHR declared the complains acceptable and rejected Armenian objection that the case was outside the temporary jurisdiction of the court.
MP Tahir Karimli talked to "Kaspi” newspaper about the case and said it was a very positive development that the ECHR made a decision regarding the case of Chiragov brothers and others and even fined the state of Armenia: "This case was reviewed before but it left incomplete. During that time an important political decision about Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani territories was being made. And now this has further strengthened the issue and imposition of serious sanctions were intended. In my view, it’s a very positive thing and we have to make good use of this. On the other hand, we should try to make sure this verdict is executed. Armenia may refuse to comply with it. If the verdict is not executed then the issue with Armenia should be raised again”.
Kerimli noted this should not be the responsibility of the state alone: "There are many of our citizens that have been subjected to material and emotional damages as a result of the occupation that could take advantage of this opportunity and "bombard” the European Court with new appeals. I think hundreds, even thousands of citizen should appeal to the court. Particularly since those applications will not need much introduction. Because the international law accepts the right of precedence. Thus, we can use the right of precedence and can put Armenia in a tough position, both economically and politically. We know that the state will take appropriate steps in this regard. At the same time, I invite our citizens who come from the occupied areas to take similar steps. By referring to the Chiragov case and taking advantage of the right of precedence, our internally displaced peoples’ rights will be recognized and they will be entitled to compensation from the state of Armenia. At the same time, these collective appeals may put Armenia in a hard political situation”.
MP also noted that despite the decision of the ECHM the international community will still display double-standards towards Azerbaijan: "Unfortunately, double-standards will continue regardless. Despite the injustices against Azerbaijan, the courts are forced to make such decisions. We should make use of this opportunity and declare it to the world that the universal law is above all political and religious fanaticism”.
Lawyer Sahib Mammadov also talked about the verdict and said: "Of course, the compensation is symbolic and even if the amount was high, it would still not repay the damage done to the plaintiffs. Political aspect of the case is more important than its material aspect. The political aspect was emboldened from legal perspective. For example, there were three main issues in the decision of the Grand Chamber. Firstly, the verdict of the court showed that the war broke out based on Armenian claims against Azerbaijan. Secondly, the decision states that Armenia had used all resources including armed weapons, military servicemen from the beginning of the process. Third of all, Armenia is effectively in control of those areas and the management is done through Yerevan. The last part is particularly important. Because the war broke out in 1992 but the violation still continues”.
Mammadov noted that the international organizations are already referring to this decision by the ECHR: "Which is why this court decision is so important. Even if the former Azerbaijani citizens of Armenian descent were to win such cases in the future, it won’t have the same effect. But the main three principles that I mentioned are very important for Azerbaijan. By paying the fines, Armenia effectively concedes that they have occupied Azerbaijani territories”.