Late in the evening of July 8, the European Court of Human Rights issued a statement announcing that it had rejected an interim measure in the case of “Gyulumyan and Others vs. Armenia.” *
One and a half pages of content stormed the political and media field of Armenia. The decision of the court was taken advantage of and manipulated according to professional qualities and political expediency.
The content of the ECHR’s decision on the claim
On June 26, former ECHR Judge Alvina Gyulumyan, her colleagues in the Constitutional Court Hrant Nazaryan, Felix Tokhyan, and Hrayr Tovmasyan applied to the ECHR to oblige the Armenian government to suspend the implementation of the constitutional amendments adopted by the National Assembly. In particular:
- maintain the positions of applicants
- refrain from appointing new judges of the Constitutional Court and/or postpone the ongoing proceedings
- “Ensure the physical security, psychological and moral immunity of judges from manipulating public perceptions of the use of administrative resources.”
The ECtHR rejected the application for an interim measure, commenting that it was outside the scope of Rule 39. According to this rule of the court, decisions are made when there are serious and irreversible risks threatening fundamental human rights. In this case, the court did not see such risks.
However, the court emphasized that the applicants could submit an application and submit their complaint to the court. If necessary, the court may decide to give priority to certain applications.
What political manipulations followed?
The government was one of the first to spread the ECtHR decision.
📌 Chairman of the NA Standing Committee on Foreign Relations, “My Step” MP Ruben Rubinyan informed that “The ECtHR rejected the application of three former judges of the Constitutional Court, former President of the Constitutional Court Hrayr Tovmasyan, against Armenia, in which the applicants, among other things, demanded to suspend the implementation of the amendments to the Constitution as an intermediate measure.”
Rubinyan manipulated the content of the decision: The refusal was related to the application of an intermediate measure. In other words, the applicants did not, as Rubinyan had written, demand “among other things” to “suspend the implementation of the amendments to the Constitution,” but their application to apply an intermediate measure referred to the points mentioned above, which he had not clarified with his “etc.”
📌 This same content was spread by other deputies of “My Step,” in some cases adding only the first page of the ECHR press release. Following the example of the pro-government deputies, only the first page of the two-page message was published by armtimes.com, which belongs to the Prime Minister’s family.
On the second page, the court informed about the possibility of prioritizing some applications, if necessary.
📌 NA Deputy Speaker Alen Simoyan from the ruling team who fights against the criminal subculture characterized the application to the ECHR using the logic of this subculture. “this is already the umpteenth time, when they go to bring a boy on us from abroad, be it from Brussels or Moscow, it seems that it does not work and will not work.”
What news manipulations took place?
❌ According to the analyst of lragir.am, “in fact, it turned out that the ECHR recognized the amendment of the Constitution.” The author of the article, Hakob Badalyan, also insisted, “Thus, Hrayr Tovmasyan and the other applicants, willy-nilly, took a step that led to an increase in the legitimacy of the change in parliament from the point of view of the international arena, because the step in the domestic field did not seem to have a problem with legitimacy.”
With this refusal, the European Court of Human Rights has not made any decision on the Constitutional amendments and has not recognized anything. The published decision only proves that there is no need to apply an intermediate measure, as there are no risks of causing serious and irreversible damage to fundamental human rights.
❌ The “Haylur” news program of the 5th channel also manipulated the lawyers’ comment (from 4:45 in the video). “Meanwhile, the lawyers explain that the Strasbourg court not only did not reject the application of the judges of the Constitutional Court on the legality of their dismissal but will immediately consider the case,” the commentator said.
However, the European Court of Human Rights did not promise to investigate immediately but informed about its possibility if necessary.
The same point is repeated when commenting on the words of lawyer Aram Vardevanyan, although Vardevanyan is willing to make the statement.
❌ Pastinfo.am, not being aware of the short deadlines of the 39th rule of the court, wrote, “It is also noteworthy that the ECHR is urgently communicating, which is not so typical for this structure, as the procedures here usually take much longer, indicating the ECHR’s interest in the case.”
These definitions attributed to the ECHR were, unfortunately, a result of ignorance. With the same urgency, the ECHR, for example, in January 2019 decided to apply an intermediate measure in the case of businessman Samvel Mayrapetyan, when there were risks to health.
❌ Hraparak.am found a sensation in this information mess. It translated the results of the investigation of the “Valeurs actuelles” periodical, entitled “Scandal in France” The ECHR judges have some connections with George Soros.”
It literally repeated the content of the Russian eadaily.com, which was published months ago, in February 2020. Before the sensational news of hraparak.am, Narek Malyan from the VETO movement shared this publication, circulating the Soros-ECHR connection thesis.
In February, euvsdisinfo.eu, which is a fact-checking site, referred to this news, describing it as misinformation. The website explained that the work of some lawyers before becoming a judge of the European Court of Human Rights at some point in the NGOs funded by the Soros Foundation is not a sufficient basis for declaring that the ECHR has a conflict of interest.
The turn came for the conspiracy theorists
📌 Narek Malyan from VETO, sharing the publication of the above-mentioned Russian website, localized the thesis: “According to my information, the head of the oligarch Soros’ office, Larisa Minasyan, personally interfered in the process of obtaining a decision favorable to Nikol Pashinyan from the ECHR.”
Malyan insisted that this support has its price. According to his propaganda line, that price is the inviolability of transgender people, the demolition of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, the desecration of children “in your home…”
📌 Lawyer Yervand Varosyan had put forward the thesis of getting such a decision in exchange for some promises. “Is what is promised in our national and state interests?” He asked a rhetorical question.
📌 Arthur Danielyan from the “Adeqvad” Congregation continued to find complex geopolitical ties in every simple thing. This time he insisted that the rejection of the ECHR was conditioned by the price of gas supplied to the European Union.
* The article has been changed. In the initial version, we used the term ECHR judgment, which is wrong. The ECHR made a decision, not a judgment. In the text, the word judgment has been replaced by the word decision.