17 judges, including ECtHR judges Khanlar Hajiyev from Azerbaijan and Alvina Gulumyan from Armenia attended the hearing. The court was chaired by the President of the European Court of Human Rights, APA’s correspondent in Strousborg reports.
The Court found that Armenia is controlling Nagorno Karabakh, including seven regions adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh. The Court ruled in favor of the applicants, recognizing continuing violations by Armenia of a number of their rights under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, namely, those relating to the protection of property (Article 1 of Protocol No. 1), the right to respect for private and family life (Article 8 of the Convention) and the right to an effective remedy (Article 13 of the Convention). Furthermore, the judgment effectively put an end to Armenia’s persistent denial of its responsibility for the unlawful occupation of and military presence in the territories of Azerbaijan.
In the course of the Court’s proceedings, in its usual attempts to mislead the international community and distort the root causes and essence of the conflict, Armenia submitted that its jurisdiction did not extend to the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding territories; that it did not and could not have effective control of or exercise any public power on those territories;
In response to these and other allegations submitted by Armenia, the Court noted in particular that the war had started with calls for the incorporation of Nagorno-Karabakh into Armenia and specifically referred in that regard to a joint resolution on the “reunification” adopted in December 1989 by the Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR and the Nagorno-Karabakh regional council. The Court established that the citizens of Azerbaijan were forced to leave Lachin as a result of military attack on the district in May 1992. The Court stated that Nagorno-Karabakh and the district of Lachin and the other surrounding territories are now under occupation and that the international law of belligerent occupation, as laid down in the relevant provisions of the 1907 Hague Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land and the 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, applies to a given situation.
The Court confirmed its conclusion from the admissibility decision of 14 December 2011, according to which “the ‘NKR’ is not recognized as a State under international law by any countries or international organisations…”, thus reaffirming the position of the international community that overwhelmingly rejected this entity and refused to recognise as legitimate the situation created through the use of force against the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, accompanied by the notorious practice of ethnic cleansing and other flagrant violations of the peremptory norms of international law.
The Council of Europe has reacted to the current situation in Resolution no. 1416 of the Parliamentary Assembly adopted on 25 January 2005, in which it was noted that “The Assembly expresses its concern that the military action and the widespread ethnic hostilities which preceded it, led to large-scale ethnic expulsion and the creation of mono-ethnic areas which resemble the terrible concept of ethnic cleansing.
The case concerns the complaints by Azerbaijani IDPs, they were forced to flee from their homes on May 17, 1992. Up to now, the Armenian authorities have not paid compensation for this damage. The applicants rely on Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of the property) and Articles 8 (right to respect to private and family life) and 13 (right to an effective remedy ) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The applicants are Elkhan Chiragov, Adishirin Chiragov, Ramiz Gebrayilov, Akif Hasanof, Fekhreddin Pashayev and Qaraca Gabrayilov. All but Hasanof now live in Baku. The case concerns the complaints by Azerbaijani IDPs, they were forced to flee from their homes on May 17, 1992. Up to now, the Armenian authorities have not paid compensation for this damage. The applicants rely on Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of the property) and Articles 8 (right to respect to private and family life ) and 13 (right to an effective remedy ) of the European Convention on Human Rights. Finally the applicants claim, under Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the Convention in conjunction with all the above Articles, that, if they had been ethnic Armenian and Christian, they would not have been forcibly displaced from their homes by the Armenian forces. The application was lodged with the European Court of Human Rights on April 6, 2005.
On 9 March 2010, the Chamber to which the case was assigned relinquished jurisdiction in favour of the Grand Chamber. The Azerbaijani Government intervened as a third party. A first Grand Chamber hearing in the case was held on 15 September 2010. In a decision of 14 December 2011, the Court declared the complaints admissible. The court also dismissed the Armenian Government’s objection that the application had been submitted out of time. The latest court hearing of the Grand Chamber was held on January 22, 2014.
Azerbaijan is officially being represented by its authorized representative in ECtHR Chingiz Asgarov.
Azerbaijanis’ interests are being protected by Chief Advisor of the Department to Work with law enforcement agencies of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Otari Gvaladze, lawyers Malcolm Shaw, Urdaneta Vitek, Gabirel Lansky and Hans Tretter.
See the following link for the Judgment of the Court on the case: