Case of Ghazaryan and Bayramyan v. Azerbaijan, (Application no. 33050/18)

A selection of key paragraphs can be found below the judgment.


102. Given the circumstances of the instant case, the Court finds that it does not in any event appear that Mr Karen Ghazaryan was adequately protected against arbitrary detention, since (i) the Government have not given the Court any information rendering it capable of verifying the “lawfulness” requirement with regard to his “disciplinary arrest” from 15 until 19 July 2018, and (ii) even though his detention on remand on 21 July 2018 was fixed for a period of four months (see paragraph 43 above), Mr Karen Ghazaryan remained in detention after those four months without any extension orders being made or any further decisions on his detention being taken until his conviction on 27 February 2019 (see paragraphs 30 and 46 above). While the Government have emphasised that he could have appealed against the detention order issued by the first-instance court, they have not informed the Court of any procedures to which Mr Karen Ghazaryan could in principle have resorted after the four-month period had passed.

103. Given the circumstances of the instant case, the Court finds the above noted factors to be sufficient to conclude that Mr Karen Ghazaryan’s detention was not supported by adequate legal safeguards and accordingly that there has been a violation of Article 5 § 1 of the Convention for failure to meet the “lawfulness” requirement set out therein.

105. As to the general interpretation of “promptly”, the Court has on several occasions indicated that any period in excess of four days is prima facie too long […] In the instant case, the Government have not disputed that Mr Karen Ghazaryan was kept for six days before he was brought before the Gazakh District Court, and the Court does not consider that the grounds provided by the Government (namely, the alleged need to investigate Mr Karen Ghazaryan and to check his identity) could justify the length of that period of time. It emphasises that it considers it immaterial whether, under domestic law, different (prescribed) procedures should have been followed in respect of the “disciplinary arrest” ordered on 15 July 2018 and to what the Government have coined as the “official arrest” on 19 July 2018. Given these circumstances, moreover, the Court does not find decisive the question of whether the six-day period was in accordance with domestic law or not – a question on which the parties disagree (see paragraphs 87 and 92 above).

106. There has accordingly been a violation of Article 5 § 3 of the Convention on the grounds that Mr Karen Ghazaryan was not “promptly” brought before a judge or another officer authorised by law to exercise judicial power.

134. The Court, on the basis of the case file, does not have any grounds for concluding that the placement of Mr Karen Ghazaryan in solitary confinement was based on an objective assessment as to whether or not the measure in question was necessary and appropriate or that there existed any procedural safeguards guaranteeing his welfare and the proportionality of the measure; accordingly, the Court draws the conclusion that his solitary confinement amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment contrary to Article 3 of the Convention, without it having to consider separately the applicant’s arguments concerning the physical conditions of his detention (see similarly A.L. (X.W.) v. Russia, cited above, § 81, and A.B. v. Russia, no. 1439/06, § 112, 14 October 2010).

135. In sum, while the Court does not call into question the information given by the applicants concerning the mental health of Mr Karen Ghazaryan prior to and subsequent to his captivity, it fails to see that this information alone gives the Court sufficient basis for drawing any clear conclusion as to whether Mr Karen Ghazaryan was the victim of ill-treatment within the meaning of Article 3 of the Convention. However, as concerns his being kept in solitary confinement for a prolonged period, the Court finds that there has been a violation of that provision on the grounds that no material has been adduced to explain the circumstances of that measure, including its necessity and any possible procedural safeguards that may have been taken in respect of it.


De versie van de browser die je gebruikt is verouderd en wordt niet ondersteund.
Upgrade je browser om de website optimaal te gebruiken.