Armenia pays for Karabakh in courts... and not only there
It seems that Armenia will soon have to include another item of expenditure in its budget - compensation payments, determined by international judicial institutions.
Several days ago, the Upper Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ordered Armenian authorities to pay compensation in the amount of 30 thousand euros and 28,642 thousand pounds to cover legal costs spent by six internally displaced persons from Lachin district.
Residents of the district - Elkhan Chiragov and Adyshirin Chiragov, Ramiz Jabrailov, Akif Hasanov, Fakhreddin Pashayev and Gara Jabrailov had to leave their homes as a result of the occupation of Nagorno Karabakh by Armenian forces. The case called "Chiragov and Others vs Armenia", was reviewed by the European Court in the summer of 2015, but only after two and a half years the court decided on the amount of compensation.
This is not the first case lost by Armenian lobby in Europe. At the end of November, the European Court of Human Rights didn't rule in favor of Armenian government two times. The court ordered Yerevan to pay 2,400 euros in "Manucharyan vs Armenian government" case, as well as 50,000 euros in Suren Muradyan's case. In the latter case, the court ruled that no proper investigation had been conducted by Yerevan to find those guilty of death of soldier Suren Muradyan, who died in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2002. Father of the deceased appealed to the European Court, saying that his son didn't receive necessary medical help, and managed to win the case.
"Merjan and Others vs Switzerland" and "Perincek vs Switzerland" cases are also interesting in this context. It seems that they don't involve Armenian authorities directly, but they can obviously be considered a sad precedent for Armenian lobby. The Swiss Supreme Court reversed the decision mde earlier, according to which, Turkish politician and leader of the Labor Party Dogu Perincek was fined for denying "Armenian genocide" of 1915. The court ruling was reconsidered when the ECHR recognized the denial of "Armenian genocide" acceptable, referring to freedom of speech. "Perincek's statements are relevant to social issues, they don't include calls for hatred or intolerance; this statement can't be considered an insult of the dignity of members of Armenian community. Apparently, Swiss court punished the politician for expressing his opinion, which differs from the views of the country itself," the European Court said. It should be noted that Perincek's case involved not only Swiss government, but also Switzerland-Armenia association, which was obliged to pay 2,560 dollars to Turkish politician.
"Chiragov and Others vs Armenia" is the latest, but still very imporant case. It should be noted that the court's verdict is important because it says that Armenian authorities are guilty, not unrecognized "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic". If million refugees, who were forced to leave their homes during the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, will appeal to the European Court, this precedent will certainly help. It's hard to image how much Armenian government will have to pay.