Reservations and Declarations for Treaty No.005 - Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

Nature of declaration : Declarations, Denunciations, Derogations
Status as of 26/06/2017

Armenia

Derogation contained in a Note verbale from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, dated 2 March 2008, transmitted by the Permanent Representation of Armenia and registered by the Secretariat General on 4 March 2008 - Or. Engl.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia presents its compliments to H.E. Mr. Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and, pursuant to Article 15 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of the Council of Europe (ETS No. 5), has the honor to forward, herewith, the Decree of the President of the Republic of Armenia on Declaration of State of Emergency in Yerevan, Armenia.

Decree of the President of the Republic of Armenia On Declaration of the State of Emergency
1 March 2008


In order to prevent the threat of danger to the constitutional order in the Republic of Armenia and to protect the rights and legal interests of the population, guided by point 14 of Article 55 and point 6 of Article 117 of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, I decree :

1. To declare the state of emergency in Yerevan from 1 March 2008 for 20 days;

2. To entrust the President of Armenia with the supervision of the regulation and implementation of the [measures aimed at] elimination of circumstances that served as grounds for declaring the state of emergency, and of other urgent issues;

3. To entrust the Police of the Republic of Armenia and the Defense Ministry of the Republic of Armenia with ensuring the legal regime of the state of emergency;

4. To establish the following temporary limitations in the area under state of emergency :

1. Banning meetings, rallies, demonstrations, marches and other mass events;
2. Banning strikes and other actions that could stop or suspend the activities of organizations;
3. Limiting the movement of individuals and the means for transportation and carrying out inspections by the law-enforcement bodies, as necessary;
[4. Mass media outlets can provide information on State and internal affairs exclusively within the perimeters of official information provided by State bodies;] (*)
5. Banning political propaganda through leaflets or other means without due permission from relevant State bodies;
[6. Temporary suspension of the activity of political parties and other public organizations that impede the elimination of the circumstances that served as the grounds for declaring a state of emergency;
7.Removing from a given area those who violate the legal state of emergency regime and do not reside there, doing so at their own expense, or, in case of absence of these means, using the State budget resources to be refunded afterwards.] (**)
5. The Government of the Republic of Armenia must undertake necessary measures for ensuring the implementation of this decree.

6. The decree comes into force from the moment of its announcement.

[Notes by the Secretariat:
(*) See the declaration contained in a Note verbale from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, dated 13 March 2008, transmitted by the Permanent Representation of Armenia and registered by the Secretariat General on 14 March 2008 - Or. Engl.
(**) See the declaration contained in a Note verbale from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, dated 10 March 2008, transmitted by the Permanent Representation of Armenia and registered by the Secretariat General on 10 March 2008 - Or. Engl.]
Period covered: 04/03/2008 - 21/03/2008
Articles concerned : 15

Declaration contained in a Note verbale from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, dated 10 March 2008, transmitted by the Permanent Representation of Armenia and registered by the Secretariat General on 10 March 2008 - Or. Engl.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia presents its compliments to H.E. Mr. Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and, pursuant to Article 15 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of the Council of Europe (ETS No. 5), has the honor to forward, herewith, the Decree of the President of the Republic of Armenia on Amendments in NH-35-N Decree of 1 March 2008.

Decree of the President of the Republic of Armenia On Amendments in NH-35-N Decree of 1 March 2008

Guided by point 14 of Article 55 and point 6 of Article 117 of the Constitution of the Republic of Amenia, I decree:
1. To declare null and void points 6 and 7 of paragraph 4 of the NH-35-N Decree of the President of the Republic of Armenia on Declaration of the State of Emergency of 1 March 2008.
2. The decree comes into force from the moment of its announcement.
Period covered: 10/03/2008 - 21/03/2008
Articles concerned : 15

Declaration contained in a Note verbale from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, dated 6 March 2008, transmitted by the Permanent Representative of Armenia and registered by the Secretariat General on 6 March 2008 – Or. Engl.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia presents its compliments to Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and, in addition to the Note No. 14/02627 of 2 March 2008 has the honour to inform him that the Republic of Armenia, a Party to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, in connection with the Decree of the President of the Republic of Armenia on the Declaration of State of Emergency in conformity with Article 55, paragraph 14, and Article 117, paragraph 6, of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, dated 1 March 2008, and pursuant to Article 15, paragraph 3, of the Convention, avails itself of the right of derogation from or limitation of application of the following provisions : Article 8, paragraph 1, Article 10, paragraph 1, Article 11, paragraph 1, of the Convention and Article 2, paragraph 1, of Protocol No. 4 to the Convention.

The above decree extends the state of emergency to the city of Yerevan for a period of 20 days in order to prevent the threat of danger to the constitutional order in the Republic of Armenia, and protect the rights and legal interests of the population, following the mass disorders, personal injury and considerable material damage, which took place in Yerevan on 1 March 2008 (see below).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia requests the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to inform the States Parties about this derogation.

The March 1-2 Events : a Description

After the presidential elections, on February 20, L. Ter-Petrosian and his team started a sit-in on the Opera square and embarked on (illegal) daily rallies and marches without advising the authorized body aimed at the destabilization of the situation in the capital. At the same time, the political leadership stated time and again that it would not object to the rallies, and if notified by L. Ter-Petrosian and his cohorts, and would allocate reasonable time and venue. L. Ter-Petrosian evaded such notification so that he would not be held liable for the actions of the mob.

Inciting statements and appeals were made at the rally. Despite numerous warnings of the police as to the illegal nature of these actions, the latter continued to grossly violate public order and endanger public security. Tents were installed at the Opera square, loud music was play all night long, the demonstrators used to sing through loud speakers, and danced, violating calm in the areas adjacent to the square. In addition, the demonstrators reduced the vicinity to anti-sanitary condition.

In late February, numerous weapons and ammunition were discovered as a result of searches of some L. Ter-Petrosian's active supporters; this was covered by the mass media, arrests followed and confiscation minutes were compiled.

As far back as February 26, the Prime Minister and President-elect Serge Sarkisian offered co-operation to all the political forces including the establishment of a coalition government. On February 29, S. Sarkisian and former presidential candidate Arthur Bagdasarian signed a coalition co-operation agreement, as a result of which L. Ter-Petrosian and his team realized that there were no other political forces supporting them, and devised the destabilization of the situation in this country.

In late February, various police units obtained intelligence about the distribution of firearms, explosives, iron rods and clubs to the demonstrators for the organization of some events. There was intelligence about provocations and mass disorders to be organized on March 1 in the capital. Similar intelligence was obtained by the National Security Service. In the context of the previously discovered weapons and ammunition, this information was particularly alarming. This intelligence was reported to the RA President. After having analyzed the situation, the RA President instructed to take measures adequate to the intelligence as prescribed by law, to verify the intelligence, to seize the materiel and to defuse the situation.

About 7.00 a.m. on the 1st of March 2008, unarmed police forces without shields and helmets approached the demonstrators in order to verify the intelligence and neutralize the danger by means of a search and appealed to them to enable the police to conduct the search. At that moment the police noticed that the demonstrators had built barricades out of local benches and other items. At that time there was no rally at the Opera square; there were about 900 people there. The police at that moment did not intend to remove the participants of the action from the square.

The demand to conduct a search was suddenly followed by the assault of the sit-in participants on the police. The demonstrators started to throw stones, pieces of wood, iron rods, Molotov cocktails, etc. Appeals were made to overthrow the authorities, and the self-esteem of the police was insulted. "Hedgehogs" made of iron rods were used, etc. Owing to the unpredictability and the nature of offences, the Chief of RA Police decided to support the unprotected policemen, as prescribed by law, and to deploy police forces armed with rubber batons, shields and helmets in the vicinity of the Opera in order to contain the riotous offences.

Owing to the unpredictability and the nature of offences, a decision was made to take adequate measures as prescribed by law. The offenders started to offer resistance with clubs, sharp cutting and puncturing instruments and metal rods. As a result of the clashes, police officers were wounded and taken to hospital. Police performed its duties only using rubber batons. No other special means were used during the action. As a result, the participants of the action were forced out of the square, a search was made, which confirmed the intelligence about weapons and ammunition. Also, explosives, Molotov cocktails, iron rods and wooden clubs and iron "hedgehogs" were found.

Some organizers and participants of the turmoil were taken to police stations, others fled and gathered at the Yerevan City Hall and the French Embassy. National Assembly members, the Ombudsman, and the representatives of city authorities met organizers of the demonstrators, particularly with D. Shahnazarian. They suggested to the organizers and demonstrators to hold the rally at the "Dinamo" stadium, then at the Rail Station square. Some other venues were also offered. However, after a consent given for a while, when the police retreated, the organizers, particularly D. Shahnazarian and N. Pashinian, having contacted L. Ter-Petrosian, received instructions from that latter not to go anywhere, but continue the prohibited gathering at the same place in violation of the law. To stabilize the situation and establish accord, the Catholicos of All Armenians and neutral politician Paruyr Hairikian decided to meet L. Ter-Petrosian, but all attempts to meet were rejected by L. Ter-Petrosian.

Moreover, the organizers of the demonstrators, particularly, N. Pashinian, H. Hakopian, Kh. Sukiasian, M. Malkhasian, and S. Mikaelian were instructed by L. Ter-Petrosian to build barricades at the Yerevan City Hall, the French and Russian Federation Embassies out of buses, trolleybuses and cars, to get armed with stones, iron rods, wooden clubs and Molotov Cocktails. The organizers also recruited their cohorts who possessed firearms and ammunition in order to attack the police forces and to spread the turmoil over the other sections of the capital.

The crowd around the Yerevan City Hall in the afternoon of March 1 was gradually getting uncontrollable and in the evening their actions were finally reduced to looting and pogroms.

The mob attacked the police forces equipped exclusively with rubber batons, shields and helmets with gun fire series, Molotov cocktails, iron rods, iron "hedgehogs", improvised fragmentation explosive devices and hand grenades. All this is documented by video footage.

It is important to point out that the clashes with the police took place 400-1000 meters from the venue of the rally at the Yerevan City Hall and the French Embassy. The police did not intend to use force or disperse the rally, but rather was at the site in order to maintain public order and to prevent the spreading of the turmoil by the rioters over the other parts of the capital.

For hours, small gangs of thugs separated from the 7000-strong crowd and burnt over two dozen private and police vehicles, and even ambulances in the nearby streets during mass turmoil. They destroyed buses and trolleybuses, devastated and looted the Moscow House, and nearby shops and offices. The windows of the City Hall and VivaCell offices were smashed. Gangs of intoxicated thugs assaulted the police forces and police officers.

Sabotage continued, and at 21.00 RA President was advised about the wounded among the police forces. To prevent further uncontrollable developments and unpredictable consequences, RA President, based on the right reserved to him under Article 55, paragraph 14, of the Constitution, after consulting the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the National Assembly, on March 1, at 22.30 local time, announced emergency situation in Yerevan for the duration of 20 days. The National Assembly, on March 2, at 1.30 a.m., immediately convened a special session and approved the RA President's decree. According to the decree, the emergency situation is confined to Yerevan; the restrictions are minimal to not hamper the regular life in the city.
Period covered: 06/03/2008 - 21/03/2008
Articles concerned : 15

Declaration contained in a Note verbale from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, dated 13 March 2008, transmitted by the Permanent Representation of Armenia and registered by the Secretariat General on 14 March 2008 - Or. Engl.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia presents its compliments to H.E. Mr. Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and, pursuant to Article 15 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of the Council of Europe (ETS No. 5), has the honor to forward, herewith, the Decree of the President of the Republic of Armenia on Amendments in NH-35-N Decree of 1 March 2008.

Decree of the President of the Republic of Armenia On Amendments to the Decree No. NH-35-N of 1 March 2008

Guided by paragraph 14 of Article 55 and paragraph 6 of Article 117 of the Constitution of the Republic of Amenia, I decree:

1. In paragraph 4 of the NH-35-N Decree of the President of the Republic of Armenia on Declaration of the State of Emergency of 1 March 2008:1) To revise point 4 of paragraph 4 to read as follows :

"4) Ban on publication or dissemination by mass media outlets of obviously false or destabilizing information on State and internal issues, or of calls to participate in unsanctioned (illegal) activities, as well as publication and dissemination of such information and calls by any other means and forms."

2) To declare null and void point 5 of paragraph 4.
2. The decree comes into force from 14 March 2008.

Period covered: 14/03/2008 - 21/03/2008
Articles concerned : 15

Withdrawal of derogation contained in a Note verbale from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, dated 21 March 2008, transmitted by the Permanent Representation of Armenia and registered by the Secretariat General on 21 March 2008 - Or. Engl.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia presents its compliments to H.E. Mr Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and, referring to its Notes Verbales of 2, 10 and 13 March 2008, has the honour to inform him that, in accordance with paragraph 1 of the Decree NH-35-N of the President of the Republic of Armenia, dated 1 March 2008, the state of emergency in the city of Yerevan has been lifted as of 24:00, on 20 March 2008.

The Republic of Armenia declares the termination of all derogations from the provisions of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of the Council of Europe (ETS No. 5).
Period covered: 21/03/2008 -
Articles concerned : 15


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