Oganezova v. Armenia (Applications nos. 71367/12 and 72961/12)

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


97. On the whole, considering the background of the continuous harassment of the applicant described above and the prevailing negative attitude towards the members of the LGBT community in general, the Court finds that the situation in which the applicant found herself as a result of the arson attack and the subsequent attacks on her person motivated by homophobic hatred must necessarily have aroused in her feelings of fear, anguish and insecurity which were not compatible with respect for her human dignity and, therefore, reached the threshold of severity within the meaning of Article 3 of the Convention taken in conjunction with Article 14.

105. The Court is of the view that, given the clear hate motive behind the arson attack on the club and the precariousness of the situation of the LGBT community in the respondent State (see paragraphs 64 and 62 above; point 90 of the ECRI report, cited in paragraph 60 above; and point 10 of the Concluding Observations of the UN Human Rights Committee, cited in paragraph 62 above), it was essential for the relevant domestic authorities to adequately address the issue of discrimination motivating the arson attack on the club – a safe space where LGBT persons had the opportunity to socialise openly (see M.C. and A.C. v. Romania, cited above, § 124).

112. The Court notes that the police put in place protection measures in respect of the applicant and her closest relations as late as on 25 May 2012, whereas the applicant had requested protection already on 17 May 2012 and reiterated her request on 18 May 2012 (see paragraphs 36, 38 and 44 above) in view of the numerous acts of violence during the preceding days (see paragraphs 29-30 and 34 above).

113.  The Court further notes that the protection measures in respect of the applicant and her relations were discontinued after five days (see paragraph 44 above). However, the grounds for lifting the measures remain unclear. In the Court’s view, considering that the police had decided to put in place protection measures because, according to its assessment, there existed “a real danger threatening the applicant’s life, health and property” (see paragraph 45 above), the decision to lift them necessitated a careful reassessment of the persistence of the very same risks. However, the Government did not explain the reasons behind the authorities’ decision to discontinue the measures.

123.  Having regard to the findings contained in paragraphs 108, 114, 116 and 122 above, the Court considers it established that the authorities failed to offer adequate protection to the applicant from homophobic attacks and hate speech and to conduct a proper investigation into the hate-motivated ill‑treatment against her including the arson attack on the club and the subsequent homophobic attacks.

124. There has accordingly been a violation of Article 3 of the Convention taken in conjunction with Article 14.


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