In today’s Chamber judgment1 in the case of Dareskizb Ltd v. Armenia, the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression), of the European Convention on Human Rights, and a violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial).
The case concerned actions by State authorities during a state of emergency following a presidential election in 2008, during which the applicant company was prevented from publishing its newspaper, Haykakan Zhamanak. It also concerned the court proceedings that followed.
Armenia’s incumbent Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was the editor-in-chief of Haykakan Zhamanak daily at the time and held the post until 2012.
The Court found in particular that the restriction on publication had had no purpose other than to limit criticism of the Government and had thus gone against the core of the right to freedom of expression as protected under the Convention.
It furthermore found that the Administrative Court’s refusal to hear the applicant company’s case, claiming jurisdictional issues, had specifically denied the applicant company access to a court.
The Court ruled that the respondent State is to pay the applicant company, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, EUR 9,000, plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non-pecuniary damage, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement.