New judgment against Armenia


On 16 November 2017 the European Court of Human Rights judgment regarding the case of Movsesyan v. Armenia (application no. 27524/09) was published. The Court found the violation of Article 2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The applicant complained that the authorities had failed to conduct an effective investigation into his daughter’s death. Mr. Movsesyan’s daughter was in the early weeks of pregnancy when fainted and began to have convulsions. An ambulance was called, which arrived around 40 minutes later. The ambulance doctor gave her an injection of relanium and one of magnesium and took her to hospital. The applicant’s daughter died in hospital without having regained consciousness.

As a result of the examination of the case, the Court indicated a range of procedural shortcomings. Particularly, no criminal proceedings as such were instituted in relation to the death of the applicant’s daughter. The investigative authorities did not make a serious attempt to clarify the discrepancies between doctor’s and nurse’s initial statements and failed to secure the applicant’s genuine participation in the inquiry. Neither the autopsy nor the subsequent forensic medical investigations conclusively determined the cause of the death of the applicant’s daughter, furthermore, the investigating authority and the courts did not make any attempts to elucidate the reasons for the deceased’s critical condition which resulted in applicant’s daughter’s death. In such circumstances, the Court noted that the authorities may not be regarded as having acted with sufficient diligence and care in order to establish the cause of the death of the applicant’s daughter.

The Court also noted that the ambulance crew had not provided proper medical assistance to the applicant’s daughter, however the investigating authority reached inaccurate findings as regards the adequacy of emergency assistance provided to the applicant’s daughter and that the courts simply endorsed these findings.

Against this background, the Court found a violation of the procedural obligation of Article 2 of the Convention obliging Armenia to pay the applicant EUR 12,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage.