Government’s preventing publication of Haykakan Zhamanak newspaper during state of emergency
In today’s Chamber judgment1 in the case of Dareskizb Ltd v. Armenia (application no. 61737/08) 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.
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.
Just satisfaction (Article 41)
The Court held that Armenia was to pay the applicant 9,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non-pecuniary damage.