May 15, 2014

Armenian government to pay out 112,000 euro to Jehovah's Witnesses

YEREVAN, May 8, 2013 (RAPSI) - The Armenian government allocated €112,000 to the Justice Ministry during its meeting on Wednesday to be paid out to Jehovah’s Witnesses in accordance with a judgment rendered by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in November 2012, according to an official statement.

In 2004, the claimants were assigned service positions in such institutions as hospitals and nursing homes as an alternative to military service based on their religious views. The following year, they informed their institutions that they would no longer be willing to serve due to the fact that their alternative service positions were controlled by the military. Criminal proceedings were brought against the applicants based on the refusal to serve, and they were placed in detention. Based on these issues, they filed complaints with the ECHR, alleging violations of their rights under the European Convention of Human Rights (Convention).

The ECHR held that with regards to most of the applicants, there had been violations of the right to liberty and security and the right to compensation for unlawful detention, in violation of Article 5 of the Convention. Accordingly, the Court held that each claimant whose rights were found to have been violated should receive €6,000 in non-pecuniary damages, and that the lot of them should be awarded €10,000 for costs and expenses.