Armenia https://updates.wri-irg.org/en en The ECtHR rules in favour of Armenian conscientious objector from Nagorno Karabakh https://updates.wri-irg.org/en/story/2021/ecthr-rules-favour-armenian-conscientious-objector-nagorno-karabakh <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'ds_entity_view' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-entity-view.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'ds_1col' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * ds-1col--node--42429.html.twig * ds-1col--node-story-rss.html.twig * ds-1col--node-story.html.twig * ds-1col--node-rss.html.twig * ds-1col--node.html.twig x ds-1col.html.twig x ds-1col.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-1col.html.twig' --> <div data-history-node-id="42429" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-image--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-image--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-image.html.twig * field--expert--field-image--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-image.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-image--story.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'responsive_image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/modules/responsive_image/templates/responsive-image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'responsive_image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/modules/responsive_image/templates/responsive-image.html.twig' --> <picture> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_desktop/public/2020-10/echr_logo.jpg?itok=vR_C9Fs2 1x" media="screen and (min-width: 992px)" type="image/jpeg"/> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2020-10/echr_logo.jpg?itok=8wJ3Iooh 1x" type="image/jpeg"/> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2020-10/echr_logo.jpg?itok=8wJ3Iooh" alt="European Court of Human Rights logo" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/image.html.twig' --> </picture> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/modules/responsive_image/templates/responsive-image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/modules/responsive_image/templates/responsive-image-formatter.html.twig' --> <div class="caption">[node:field_image:title]</div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node-post-date---custom.html.twig * field--expert--node--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--node-post-date.html.twig * field--expert--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--node-post-date.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--node--node-post-date.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--node-post-date.html.twig * field--ds.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <time > 26 Jul 2021</time> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--body--rss.html.twig * field--default--node--body--story.html.twig * field--default--node--story.html.twig * field--default--node--body.html.twig * field--default--body--story.html.twig * field--default--story.html.twig * field--default--body.html.twig * field--default.html.twig * field--theme-ds-field-default.html.twig * field--node--body--story.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p style="margin-bottom:11px">In a new judgement of 20 July 2021, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) found a violation of Article 9 (the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion) of the European Convention of Human Rights, in the case of an Armenian conscientious objector from Nagorno-Karabakh who had been sentenced and imprisoned for refusing to perform military service.</p> <h2>The facts of the case</h2> <p>The applicant, Mr Artur Avanesyan, is a Jehovah’s Witness, and therefore a conscientious objector on religious grounds. He was born, and at the material time lived, in the town of Askeran, situated in the unrecognised “Nagorno Karabakh Republic” (hereafter the “NKR”). He is an Armenian national and has held an Armenian passport since 2012. In 2014 he was called up for military service by the military authorities of the “NKR”. He replied stating that, as a Jehovah’s Witness, his conscience did not allow him to serve in the army. Since alternative civilian service was available in Armenia, he was willing to perform that service instead of compulsory military service. He then moved to Armenia fearing persecution. In Armenia he also petitioned to perform alternative service. However, he was charged in “NKR”, and subsequently Armenian police arrested him and handed over to “NKR” police which placed him in remand prison. He was sentenced by an “NKR” court to two years and six months’ imprisonment for draft evasion. His appeal was rejected, under the claim that the (Armenian) Alternative Service Act, relied on by the applicant, was not applicable in the “NKR”; hence, the fact that he was a Jehovah’s Witness did not constitute grounds for him to be exempted from serving in the “NKR” army. An appeal to the supreme court of “NKR” was also rejected.</p> <h2>The admissibility</h2> <p>The ECtHR declared the case admissible noting its previous conclusions in respect of Armenia and the “NKR”, where it had found that, at the relevant time, Armenia exercised effective control over the “NKR” and the surrounding territories and that, by doing so, Armenia was under an obligation to secure in that area the rights and freedoms set out in the Convention. Its responsibility under the Convention could not be confined to the acts of its own soldiers or officials operating in the “NKR” but was also engaged by virtue of the acts of the local administration which survived by virtue of Armenian military and other support.</p> <h2>Merits and judgement</h2> <p>As of the merits of the case, the ECtHR noted that while alternative civilian service was available in Armenia, at the material time, to conscientious objectors like the applicant, he was not able to take advantage of that option because he was apparently considered liable for military service in the “NKR” which, unlike Armenia, did not recognise the right to conscientious objection. The Armenian Government argued that the applicant, despite having applied to perform alternative civilian service, had had no guarantee that he would be allowed to perform it owing to the fact that he was an “NKR” citizen. They failed, however, to produce any evidence in support of their allegation that the applicant was an “NKR citizen” and, in fact, it transpires from the case file that the applicant has been an Armenian passport-holder since 2012. The Armenian Government disregarded this fact and, consequently, failed to explain why the applicant, an Armenian national, had been prevented from exercising the right to conscientious objection bestowed on him under section 3 of the Alternative</p> <p>Service Act and instead had had to face harsh criminal sanctions. Moreover, the authorities appear to have acted to prevent this from happening while the applicant’s application for alternative service was already pending before the relevant Armenian authority.</p> <p>The ECtHR noted that in any event, even assuming that the applicant was a “citizen” of the “NKR” as argued by the Armenian Government, Armenia was responsible for the acts and omissions of the “NKR” authorities and was under an obligation to secure in that area the rights and freedoms set out in the Convention. Therefore, the Armenian Government’s argument that the “NKR” was a separate entity where the Alternative Service Act did not apply has been artificial for the purposes of the present case.</p> <p>Consequently, the applicant had no possibility – or was deprived of the possibility – to perform alternative civilian service instead of military service, a circumstance which led eventually to his conviction and imprisonment, and therefore the ECtHR found that there has been a violation of Article 9 of the European Convention of Human Rights and ordered the Armenian government to pay 9,000 Euros for non-pecuniary damage and 1,500 Euros for costs and expenses.</p> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-programmes-projects--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-programmes-projects--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-programmes-projects.html.twig * field--expert--field-programmes-projects--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-programmes-projects.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-programmes-projects--story.html.twig * field--node--field-programmes-projects.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-programmes-projects.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">Right to Refuse to Kill</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-countries--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-countries.html.twig * field--expert--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-countries.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--node--field-countries.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-countries.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/148" hreflang="en">Armenia</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-theme--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-theme--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-theme.html.twig * field--expert--field-theme--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-theme.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-theme--story.html.twig * field--node--field-theme.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-theme.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/57" hreflang="en">Conscientious objection</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-institutions--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-institutions--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-institutions.html.twig * field--expert--field-institutions--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-institutions.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-institutions--story.html.twig * field--node--field-institutions.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-institutions.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Institutions</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/387" hreflang="en">European Court of Human Rights</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * links--node.html.twig x links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/links.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/links.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--comment--rss.html.twig * field--default--node--comment--story.html.twig * field--default--node--story.html.twig * field--default--node--comment.html.twig * field--default--comment--story.html.twig * field--default--story.html.twig * field--default--comment.html.twig * field--default.html.twig * field--theme-ds-field-default.html.twig x field--node--comment--story.html.twig * field--node--comment.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--comment.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/wri_main/templates/field/field--node--comment--story.html.twig' --> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=42429&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="9MqyuyRiG9GZw-vDzYXzZg2gypVfH47XtVjF_5R9k14"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/wri_main/templates/field/field--node--comment--story.html.twig' --> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-1col.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-entity-view.html.twig' --> Mon, 26 Jul 2021 13:42:14 +0000 cmoy 42429 at https://updates.wri-irg.org Turkish arms exports to Azerbaijan increase dramatically before conflict https://updates.wri-irg.org/en/story/2020/turkish-arms-exports-azerbaijan-increase-dramatically-conflict <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'ds_entity_view' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-entity-view.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'ds_1col' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * ds-1col--node--42213.html.twig * ds-1col--node-story-rss.html.twig * ds-1col--node-story.html.twig * ds-1col--node-rss.html.twig * ds-1col--node.html.twig x ds-1col.html.twig x ds-1col.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-1col.html.twig' --> <div data-history-node-id="42213" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node-post-date---custom.html.twig * field--expert--node--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--node-post-date.html.twig * field--expert--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--node-post-date.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--node--node-post-date.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--node-post-date.html.twig * field--ds.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <time > 26 Oct 2020</time> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--body--rss.html.twig * field--default--node--body--story.html.twig * field--default--node--story.html.twig * field--default--node--body.html.twig * field--default--body--story.html.twig * field--default--story.html.twig * field--default--body.html.twig * field--default.html.twig * field--theme-ds-field-default.html.twig * field--node--body--story.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Turkish arms exports to Azerbaijan have increased dramatically this year, ahead of the outbreak of violence with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabkh region. In September 2020 alone, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-armenia-azerbaijan-turkey-arms/turkish-arms-sales-to-azerbaijan-surged-before-nagorno-karabakh-fighting-idUSKBN26Z237">over $77m worth of drones and other equipment</a> were exported. Sales jumped massively from July - $278,000 of exports - to August, when $36m worth of arms were exported. In total, in the first nine months of 2020, Turkey exported $77m worth of arms to Azerbaijan, compared to $20m in the same period in 2019.</p> <p>Fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia broke out on 27th September. Turkish arms sold to Azerbaijan included drones, rocket launchers, ammunition and other weapons, and Turkey has voiced support for Azerbaijan throughout the conflict.</p> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-countries--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-countries.html.twig * field--expert--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-countries.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--node--field-countries.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-countries.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/135" hreflang="en">Azerbaijan</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/148" hreflang="en">Armenia</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/256" hreflang="en">Turkey</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * links--node.html.twig x links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/links.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/links.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--comment--rss.html.twig * field--default--node--comment--story.html.twig * field--default--node--story.html.twig * field--default--node--comment.html.twig * field--default--comment--story.html.twig * field--default--story.html.twig * field--default--comment.html.twig * field--default.html.twig * field--theme-ds-field-default.html.twig x field--node--comment--story.html.twig * field--node--comment.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--comment.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/wri_main/templates/field/field--node--comment--story.html.twig' --> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=42213&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="_5MsGK3IJkwzeGbEmJDeFdOTTk-8r4J6UzTVjAV7QUc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/wri_main/templates/field/field--node--comment--story.html.twig' --> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-1col.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-entity-view.html.twig' --> Mon, 26 Oct 2020 14:07:47 +0000 Andrew 42213 at https://updates.wri-irg.org https://updates.wri-irg.org/en/story/2020/turkish-arms-exports-azerbaijan-increase-dramatically-conflict#comments New European Court of Human Rights ruling supports conscientious objectors in Armenia https://updates.wri-irg.org/en/story/2017/new-european-court-human-rights-ruling-supports-conscientious-objectors-armenia <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'ds_entity_view' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-entity-view.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'ds_1col' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * ds-1col--node--41253.html.twig * ds-1col--node-story-rss.html.twig * ds-1col--node-story.html.twig * ds-1col--node-rss.html.twig * ds-1col--node.html.twig x ds-1col.html.twig x ds-1col.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-1col.html.twig' --> <div data-history-node-id="41253" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node-post-date---custom.html.twig * field--expert--node--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--node-post-date.html.twig * field--expert--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--node-post-date.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--node--node-post-date.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--node-post-date.html.twig * field--ds.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <time > 05 Dec 2017</time> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--body--rss.html.twig * field--default--node--body--story.html.twig * field--default--node--story.html.twig * field--default--node--body.html.twig * field--default--body--story.html.twig * field--default--story.html.twig * field--default--body.html.twig * field--default.html.twig * field--theme-ds-field-default.html.twig * field--node--body--story.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>In October, the European Court of Human Rights in a ruling on the case of in the case of <a href="/en/story/2017/case-adyan-and-others-v-armenia">Adyan and others v. Armenia</a>, criticised the state's alternative service system (which was in place until 2013), arguing that it was not genuinely civilian, and amounted to military service - albeit an unarmed one. The court ordered the State to pay the applicants compensation.</p> <p>The Court unanimously held that there had been a violation of article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which provides a right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.</p> <p>Read <a href="http://www.lawandreligionuk.com/2017/10/16/conscientious-objection-again-adyan-v-armenia/">this write up</a> for more background to the case.</p> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-programmes-projects--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-programmes-projects--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-programmes-projects.html.twig * field--expert--field-programmes-projects--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-programmes-projects.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-programmes-projects--story.html.twig * field--node--field-programmes-projects.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-programmes-projects.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">Right to Refuse to Kill</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-countries--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-countries.html.twig * field--expert--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-countries.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--node--field-countries.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-countries.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/148" hreflang="en">Armenia</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-theme--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-theme--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-theme.html.twig * field--expert--field-theme--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-theme.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-theme--story.html.twig * field--node--field-theme.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-theme.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/57" hreflang="en">Conscientious objection</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-institutions--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-institutions--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-institutions.html.twig * field--expert--field-institutions--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-institutions.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-institutions--story.html.twig * field--node--field-institutions.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-institutions.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Institutions</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/387" hreflang="en">European Court of Human Rights</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * links--node.html.twig x links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/links.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/links.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--comment--rss.html.twig * field--default--node--comment--story.html.twig * field--default--node--story.html.twig * field--default--node--comment.html.twig * field--default--comment--story.html.twig * field--default--story.html.twig * field--default--comment.html.twig * field--default.html.twig * field--theme-ds-field-default.html.twig x field--node--comment--story.html.twig * field--node--comment.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--comment.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/wri_main/templates/field/field--node--comment--story.html.twig' --> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=41253&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="Pj4hYSUD3vUfw20ZU6DNtdhOWDgyjtM_-4NgR77pXbA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/wri_main/templates/field/field--node--comment--story.html.twig' --> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-1col.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-entity-view.html.twig' --> Tue, 05 Dec 2017 14:41:59 +0000 HBrock 41253 at https://updates.wri-irg.org Armenian students protest against bill on military service https://updates.wri-irg.org/en/story/2018/armenian-students-protest-against-bill-military-service <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'ds_entity_view' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-entity-view.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'ds_1col' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * ds-1col--node--41367.html.twig * ds-1col--node-story-rss.html.twig * ds-1col--node-story.html.twig * ds-1col--node-rss.html.twig * ds-1col--node.html.twig x ds-1col.html.twig x ds-1col.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-1col.html.twig' --> <div data-history-node-id="41367" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-image--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-image--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-image.html.twig * field--expert--field-image--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-image.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-image--story.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'responsive_image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/modules/responsive_image/templates/responsive-image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'responsive_image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/modules/responsive_image/templates/responsive-image.html.twig' --> <picture> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_desktop/public/2018-01/armenia_protest_230713_1.jpg?itok=XhFBDP-j 1x" media="screen and (min-width: 992px)" type="image/jpeg"/> <source srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2018-01/armenia_protest_230713_1.jpg?itok=ONG1wEo- 1x" type="image/jpeg"/> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/single_page_mobiles_and_tablets/public/2018-01/armenia_protest_230713_1.jpg?itok=ONG1wEo-" alt="People marching with banner through the centre of the city" title="Photo: AzerNews" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/image.html.twig' --> </picture> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/modules/responsive_image/templates/responsive-image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/modules/responsive_image/templates/responsive-image-formatter.html.twig' --> <div class="caption">[node:field_image:title]</div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node-post-date---custom.html.twig * field--expert--node--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--node-post-date.html.twig * field--expert--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--node-post-date.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--node--node-post-date.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--node-post-date.html.twig * field--ds.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <time > 23 Jan 2018</time> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--body--rss.html.twig * field--default--node--body--story.html.twig * field--default--node--story.html.twig * field--default--node--body.html.twig * field--default--body--story.html.twig * field--default--story.html.twig * field--default--body.html.twig * field--default.html.twig * field--theme-ds-field-default.html.twig * field--node--body--story.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>At the end of October, Armenia's MPs passed a bill on military service through its first reading. The bill changes the law so that only students that agree in advance to sign a contract committing to serving in the armed forces for two years after they graduate will be granted a temporary exemption from conscription. The proposal inspired large protests at Yerevan State University, where 500 students went on strike on 7th November. The new law also introduces a period of military training during university.</p> <p>Read more <a href="https://www.azernews.az/aggression/122104.html">here</a>. </p> <p><em>Sources: </em>tert.am, <em><a href="http://www.tert.am/en/news/2017/11/09/student-protest/2534506">Armenian students protest against bill on military service</a></em>, 9 November 2017; AzerNews,<em> <a href="https://www.azernews.az/aggression/122104.html">Armenian students resume protests against new law on military service</a>, </em>13 November 2017; Caucasian Knot, <em><a href="http://www.eng.kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/41458/">Armenian students strike against cancellation of army service delays</a>,</em> 13 November 2017.</p> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-programmes-projects--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-programmes-projects--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-programmes-projects.html.twig * field--expert--field-programmes-projects--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-programmes-projects.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-programmes-projects--story.html.twig * field--node--field-programmes-projects.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-programmes-projects.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">Right to Refuse to Kill</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-countries--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-countries.html.twig * field--expert--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-countries.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--node--field-countries.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-countries.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/148" hreflang="en">Armenia</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * links--node.html.twig x links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/links.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/links.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--comment--rss.html.twig * field--default--node--comment--story.html.twig * field--default--node--story.html.twig * field--default--node--comment.html.twig * field--default--comment--story.html.twig * field--default--story.html.twig * field--default--comment.html.twig * field--default.html.twig * field--theme-ds-field-default.html.twig x field--node--comment--story.html.twig * field--node--comment.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--comment.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/wri_main/templates/field/field--node--comment--story.html.twig' --> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=41367&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="srlt6Or5bXLyf-VroppwlqAYmZD5D8QdXu9EpMx0Tcs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/wri_main/templates/field/field--node--comment--story.html.twig' --> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-1col.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-entity-view.html.twig' --> Tue, 23 Jan 2018 14:42:30 +0000 HBrock 41367 at https://updates.wri-irg.org https://updates.wri-irg.org/en/story/2018/armenian-students-protest-against-bill-military-service#comments CASE OF ADYAN AND OTHERS v. ARMENIA https://updates.wri-irg.org/en/story/2017/case-adyan-and-others-v-armenia <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'ds_entity_view' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-entity-view.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'ds_1col' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * ds-1col--node--41252.html.twig * ds-1col--node-story-rss.html.twig * ds-1col--node-story.html.twig * ds-1col--node-rss.html.twig * ds-1col--node.html.twig x ds-1col.html.twig x ds-1col.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-1col.html.twig' --> <div data-history-node-id="41252" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node-post-date---custom.html.twig * field--expert--node--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--node-post-date.html.twig * field--expert--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--node-post-date.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--node--node-post-date.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--node-post-date.html.twig * field--ds.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <time > 05 Dec 2017</time> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--body--rss.html.twig * field--default--node--body--story.html.twig * field--default--node--story.html.twig * field--default--node--body.html.twig * field--default--body--story.html.twig * field--default--story.html.twig * field--default--body.html.twig * field--default.html.twig * field--theme-ds-field-default.html.twig * field--node--body--story.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div> <p class="s32B251D"><span class="s6B621B36">(Application no. <a class="appNumberLink" href="https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#%7B%22appno%22:[%2275604/11%22]%7D" target="_blank">75604/11</a>)</span></p> <p class="s32B251D"><span class="sB8D990E2">JUDGMENT</span></p> <p class="s32B251D"><span class="sF8BFA2BC">STRASBOURG</span></p> <p class="s32B251D"><span class="sF8BFA2BC">12 October 2017</span></p> <p class="s746C8714"><span class="sF077682B">This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.</span></p> </div> <div> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="s7D2086B4">In the case of Adyan and Others v. Armenia,</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:</span></p> <p class="s6E50BD9A"><span class="sB8D990E2">Linos-Alexandre Sicilianos,</span><span class="s6B621B36"> President,</span><br /> <span class="sB8D990E2">Kristina Pardalos,</span><br /> <span class="sB8D990E2">Aleš Pejchal,</span><br /> <span class="sB8D990E2">Ksenija Turković,</span><br /> <span class="sB8D990E2">Pauliine Koskelo,</span><br /> <span class="sB8D990E2">Tim Eicke,</span><span class="s6B621B36"> judges,</span><br /> <span class="sB8D990E2">Siranush Sahakyan,</span><span class="s6B621B36"> </span><span class="sB8D990E2">ad hoc</span><span class="s6B621B36"> judge,</span><br /> <span class="sB8D990E2">and Abel Campos, </span><span class="s6B621B36">Section Registrar,</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">Having deliberated in private on 19 September 2017,</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:</span></p> <p class="s30CCF494"><span class="s32A37344">PROCEDURE</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">1. The case originated in an application (no. <a class="appNumberLink" href="https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#%7B%22appno%22:[%2275604/11%22]%7D" target="_blank">75604/11</a>) against the Republic of Armenia lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by four Armenian nationals, Mr Artur Adyan, Mr Garegin Avetisyan, Mr Harutyun Khachatryan and Mr Vahagn Margaryan (jointly “the applicants”), on 6 December 2011.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">2. The applicants were represented by Mr P. Muzny, Professor of Law at the Universities of Savoy and Geneva, and Mr A. Carbonneau and Mr A. Martirosyan, lawyers practising in Paris and Yerevan respectively. The Armenian Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr G. Kostanyan, Representative of the Republic of </span><a class="bookmark" name="_1000002" id="_1000002"></a><span class="sB8D990E2">Armenia to the European Court of Human Rights.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">3. The applicants alleged, in particular, that their convictions had violated the guarantees of Article 9 of the Convention and that their detention had been based on stereotyped reasoning by the courts.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">4. On 29 February 2016 the complaints concerning the applicants’ conviction for evasion of military and alternative service and the failure of the courts to provide relevant and sufficient reasons for their pre-trial detention were communicated to the Government and the remainder of the application was declared inadmissible pursuant to Rule 54 § 3 of the Rules of Court.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">5. Mr Armen Harutyunyan, the judge elected in respect of Armenia, was unable to sit in the case (Rule 28 of the Rules of Court). Accordingly, the President of the Chamber decided to appoint Mrs Siranush Sahakyan to sit as an ad hoc judge (Rule 29 § 1(b)).</span></p> <p class="s30CCF494"><span class="s32A37344">THE FACTS</span></p> <p class="s1BD70772"><span class="sB8D990E2">I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">6. Mr Adyan (“the first applicant”) was born in 1991, while Mr Avetisyan, Mr Khachatryan and Mr Margaryan (“the second, third and fourth applicants”) were born in 1993. The first and second applicants live in Yerevan, while the third and fourth applicants live in Tsaghkavan and Kapan respectively.</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">A. Background to the case</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">7. The applicants are four Jehovah’s Witnesses who were found to be fit for military service.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">8. In May and June 2011 the applicants were called up for military service. They failed to appear, and instead addressed letters to the local military commissariat (</span><span class="s6B621B36">զինվորական կոմիսարիատ</span><span class="sB8D990E2">) and the regional prosecutor’s office, refusing to perform either military or alternative service. They stated that they were Jehovah’s Witnesses and claimed that, having studied the Alternative Service Act, they had come to the conclusion that, by European standards, the service proposed was not of a genuinely civilian nature since it was supervised by the military authorities. Their conscience did not allow them to work directly or indirectly for the military system. The alternative labour service was known to be organised and supervised by the military authorities because the alternative labour serviceman’s record booklet was marked “Armed Forces of Armenia”, and alternative servicemen were subject to military discipline and penalties and had to register with the military subdivisions of the Armed Forces of Armenia. Furthermore, the law required that they remain at their place of service around the clock, seven days a week, which was akin to house arrest and was unacceptable to the applicants. The requirement to perform military service or the available alternative service violated their rights guaranteed by, </span><span class="s6B621B36">inter alia</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights. For the reasons stated above, their conscience did not allow them to perform the alternative service available in Armenia. The applicants added that they were willing to perform alternative service as long as it was not in any way connected with the military authorities and did not violate their religious beliefs.</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">B. Charges against the applicants and placement of the first, third and fourth applicants in pre-trial detention</span></p> <p class="sCC3BCF28"><span class="s6B621B36">1. The second applicant</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">9. On 15 June 2011 charges were brought against the second applicant under Article 327 § 1 of the Criminal Code (evasion of regular conscription to military or alternative service).</span></p> <p class="sCC3BCF28"><span class="s6B621B36">2. The first and fourth applicants</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">10. On 6 July 2011 the first and fourth applicants were arrested.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">11. On 7 July 2011 the same charges were brought against the first and fourth applicants. Finding the investigator’s applications for their detention substantiated, the Syunik Regional Court decided to detain them.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">12. On 28 July 2011 the Criminal Court of Appeal dismissed appeals lodged by the first and fourth applicants against the detention orders, finding, </span><span class="s6B621B36">inter alia</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, that as imprisonment of more than one year was envisaged for the imputed offence, that increased the probability that the first and fourth applicants would commit a new offence or evade punishment if they remained at large.</span></p> <p class="sCC3BCF28"><span class="s6B621B36">3. The third applicant</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">13. On 27 July 2011 the same charges were brought against the third applicant and the Tavush Regional Court decided to detain him at the investigator’s request, finding that there was a reasonable suspicion that he had committed the offence with which he was charged.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">14. On an unspecified date his criminal case was sent to court.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">15. On 19 August 2011 the Tavush Regional Court decided to set the case down for trial, finding that the “detention was to remain unchanged”.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">16. On 24 August 2011 the Criminal Court of Appeal examined an appeal lodged by the third applicant against the detention order of 27 July 2011 and decided to dismiss it, finding, </span><span class="s6B621B36">inter alia</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, that a penalty of more than one year was envisaged for the offence with which he was charged, which increased the probability that he would commit a new offence or evade punishment if he remained at large.</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">C. Court proceedings and the applicants’ conviction</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">17. In the course of the proceedings before their respective trial courts, the applicants submitted that their opposition to military and alternative service was based on their religious beliefs. The alternative service provided for under domestic law was not of a genuinely civilian nature, as it was supervised by the military authorities. The right to conscientious objection was protected by, </span><span class="s6B621B36">inter alia</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, Article 9 of the Convention. The applicants were willing to perform alternative service as long as it was not supervised by the military and was of a genuinely civilian nature.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">18. On 19 July 2011 the Kotayk Regional Court found the second applicant guilty as charged and sentenced him to two years and six months in prison. He was taken into custody on the same day.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">19. On 27 July 2011 the Syunik Regional Court imposed similar sentences on the first and fourth applicants.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">20. On 25 November 2011 the Tavush Regional Court imposed a similar sentence on the third applicant.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><a class="bookmark" name="appeals" id="appeals"><span class="sB8D990E2">21</span></a><span class="sB8D990E2">. </span><a class="bookmark" name="Judgment_Adyan" id="Judgment_Adyan"><span class="sB8D990E2">The applicants lodged appeals against their convictions, arguing that they violated the requirements of Article 9 of the Convention. Their opposition to the alternative service available in Armenia was based on their religious beliefs, as that service was not of a genuinely civilian nature and failed to comply with European standards. It was organised and supervised by the military authorities (section 14 of the Alternative Service Act (see paragraph </span><span class="sB8D990E2">28</span><span class="sB8D990E2"> below)) and was equivalent to non-armed military service, whereas their conscience did not allow them to perform any service supervised by the military authorities. Furthermore, section 17</span><span class="sB8D990E2">(3)</span><span class="sB8D990E2"> of the Act authorised a military authority to order the transfer of an alternative labour serviceman to another institution, while certain aspects of the service were organised in accordance with military rules (section 18</span><span class="sB8D990E2">(2) of the Act)</span><span class="sB8D990E2">. Alternative labour servicemen were also required to wear a uniform that resembled a military uniform and to follow orders, and were not allowed to leave their place of service without authorisation. The cover of the alternative labour serviceman’s record booklet (</span><span class="s6B621B36">այլընտրանքային աշխատանքային ծառայողի գրքույկ</span><span class="sB8D990E2">) bore the coat of arms and the words “The Armed Forces of Armenia”, and the monthly allowance paid was the same as that of military servicemen. Moreover, alternative service was punitive in nature as it lasted forty-two months and alternative servicemen were required to stay at their place of service around the clock. They reiterated their readiness to perform a genuinely civilian alternative service and argued that, </span><span class="sB8D990E2">in the absence of alternative service that complied with European standards and was of a truly civilian nature, their sentences did not pursue a pressing social need and were not necessary in a democratic society</span><span class="sB8D990E2">.</span></a></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">22</span><span class="sB8D990E2">. On 2 December 2011 the Criminal Court of Appeal upheld the judgments of the Regional Courts in the cases of the first and second applicants.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">In the first applicant’s case, the Court of Appeal found as follows:</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">“Having examined the arguments of the defence that the alternative labour service in Armenia does not comply with European standards, is of a military nature and is supervised by the military, the Court of Appeal finds that [the State] ... is taking appropriate measures in respect of the obligations assumed before the Council of Europe as regards, in particular, the enactment and continuous improvement of the legislation concerning alternative service.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">The Court of Appeal finds it necessary to point out that the Alternative Service Act, the [relevant] Government decrees and [other executive orders] are based on the Armenian Constitution and must therefore be applied in the present case with the following considerations.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">[Citation of sections 2 and 3(1) of the Act (see paragraph 28 below)]</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">It follows from the above-mentioned provisions that [the State] has made a clear distinction between alternative military service and alternative labour service, and has guaranteed by law the civilian nature of the latter.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">[Citation of sections 17 and 18(3) of the Act (see paragraph 28 below)]</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">Based on an analysis of the above-mentioned provisions, the Court of Appeal finds it necessary to point out that the fact that the head of the institution [where alternative service is performed] notifies [the local military commissariat] regarding the alternative labour service to be performed by the serviceman, the fact that the serviceman can be transferred to another institution or place and the fact that alternative labour servicemen are discharged from service to the reserve and are registered in the reserve in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law, are not sufficient to conclude that the alternative labour service in Armenia is of a military nature, since ... the type, procedures and conditions of such labour are determined by the heads of the relevant institutions without any interference by the military authorities or their representatives.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">Furthermore, it is the head of [the relevant] institution who is responsible for</span><span class="sB8D990E2"> </span><span class="sFBBFEE58">the organisation and implementation of the alternative labour service and not the subdivisions of the Armed Forces of Armenia.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">The argument put forward by the defence that the alternative labour service is supervised by a public authority in the field of defence authorised by the Government of Armenia similarly does not suggest that there is no alternative labour service in Armenia. It must be noted that in reality, servicemen perform the labour service outside the Armed Forces of Armenia and it does not contain elements of military service.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">The Court of Appeal also finds it necessary to note that an analysis of the Alternative Service Act shows that the specifics of the legal status of alternative labour servicemen are set out in the said Act and the labour legislation of Armenia and they are subjects ... of labour rather than military relations.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">The preceding conclusion is evidenced also by a number of other provisions of the Act, in particular, the fact that alternative labour servicemen are subordinate only to the heads of the relevant civilian institutions, are obliged to follow only their orders and instructions, and must abide by the internal disciplinary rules of such institutions, while questions related to the social security of servicemen and their family members are regulated by the legislation on State pensions rather than military laws (sections 19 and 20).</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">It must be noted that Government Decree no. 940-N of 25 June 2004 established the list of institutions where alternative service is performed and the form and the manner of wearing the alternative serviceman’s uniform.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">Paragraph 2(b) of the said Decree stipulates that ‘alternative labour servicemen perform their service in the institutions under the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs’.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">Pursuant to [Annex 1] to the Decree, ‘the tasks performed by alternative labour servicemen in the said bodies are those of an orderly’.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">The Government have entrusted the ministers of the said bodies, as well as the Minister of Defence, with certain responsibilities, such as the provision of clothing, food and financial means to servicemen and other organisational work (paragraph 3 of the Decree).</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">The fact that the Minister of Defence is also involved in the organisation of the alternative service does not suggest that the labour service transforms into military service, since, firstly, the Minister of Defence and certain subdivisions of the Armed Forces are called upon to participate in the organisation of the alternative military service.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">As regards the fact that the military authorities carry out supervision of labour servicemen together with the heads of the relevant institutions, the Court of Appeal considers that this still does not change the nature of the service performed. Moreover, as already noted above, the type, procedures and conditions of the civilian labour are determined and may be changed only by the head of the relevant institution.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">...</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">It must be noted that performing the tasks of an orderly at the relevant medical institutions of Armenia is not only not demeaning, but to the contrary is humanitarian, serves the interests of society and is aimed at preservation of human health and life.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">The argument put forward by the defence that the alternative labour service is punitive in nature is also unsubstantiated.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">...</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">In the light of the above, the Court of Appeal, based on the concrete facts of the case, namely that [the first applicant] has categorically refused to be conscripted to alternative labour service, concludes that he has been subjected to criminal liability and penalty in a justified and fair manner for such actions, and this fact does not contradict ... the case-law of the European Court regarding Article 9 of the Convention.”</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">In the second applicant’s case, the Court of Appeal found that his conviction had been lawful, well-founded and reasoned.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><a class="bookmark" name="Judgment_Margaryan_Khachatryan" id="Judgment_Margaryan_Khachatryan"><span class="sB8D990E2">23</span></a><span class="sB8D990E2">. On 9 December 2011 and 6 March 2012 the Criminal Court of Appeal adopted judgments in the cases of the third and fourth applicants similar to its judgment in the case of the first applicant.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sF8BFA2BC">24. The applicants lodged appeals on points of law, raising the same arguments as in their appeals.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">25. On 7, 8 and 17 February and 7 May 2012 the Court of Cassation declared the applicants’ appeals inadmissible for lack of merit.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">26. On 8 and 9 October 2013 the applicants were released from prison following a general amnesty, after having served between twenty-six and twenty-seven months of their sentences.</span></p> <p class="s1BD70772"><span class="sB8D990E2">II. DOMESTIC LAW AND PRACTICE</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">A. Criminal Code (in force since 2003)</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">27. Article 327 § 1 provides that evasion of regular conscription to fixed-term military or alternative service, in the absence of legal grounds for exemption from such service, is punishable by detention (defined in this context as imprisonment under conditions of strict isolation) for a period not exceeding two months or imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years.</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">B. Alternative Service Act</span></p> <p class="sCC3BCF28"><span class="s6B621B36">1. Alternative Service Act as in force at the material time</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><a class="bookmark" name="Act_prior_amendments" id="Act_prior_amendments"><span class="sB8D990E2">28</span></a><span class="sB8D990E2">. The relevant provisions of the Alternative Service Act of 17 December 2003, which entered into force on 1 July 2004, read as follows:</span></p> <p class="s19630BCC"><span class="sDFC50A6A">Section 2. Concept and types of alternative service</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">“1. Within the meaning of this Act alternative service is the service that replaces compulsory fixed-term military service. It does not involve the bearing, keeping, maintenance and use of arms, and is performed in both military and civilian institutions.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">2. There are two types of alternative service:</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">(a) Alternative military service, namely military service performed in the armed forces of Armenia which does not involve being on combat duty or the bearing, keeping, maintenance and use of arms; and</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">(b) Alternative labour service, namely labour service performed outside the armed forces of Armenia.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">3. The purpose of alternative service is to ensure the fulfilment of a civic obligation towards the motherland and society, and it does not have a punitive, demeaning or degrading nature.”</span></p> <p class="s19630BCC"><span class="sDFC50A6A">Section 3. Grounds for performing alternative service</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">“1. An Armenian citizen whose creed or religious beliefs contradict the performance of military service in a military unit, including the bearing, keeping, maintenance and use of arms, may perform alternative service. ...”</span></p> <p class="s19630BCC"><span class="sDFC50A6A">Section 5. Duration of alternative service</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">“The duration of alternative military service is 36 months.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">The duration of alternative labour service is 42 months.”</span></p> <p class="s19630BCC"><span class="sDFC50A6A">Section 14. Ensuring the implementation of alternative service</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">“Conscription to alternative service is organised and its implementation is supervised by a public authority in the field of defence authorised by the Government of Armenia. ...”</span></p> <p class="s19630BCC"><span class="sDFC50A6A">Section 17. Procedure for performing alternative labour service</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">“1. A citizen conscripted to the alternative labour service shall be sent, in accordance with the prescribed procedure, to the institution where he is to perform his alternative labour service.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">2. The head of the local institution where the alternative labour service is to be performed shall include the alternative labour serviceman in the institution’s personnel list, decide on the type, procedures and conditions of work, ensuring that he is fully occupied, and notify the local military commissariat thereof in writing within three days.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">3. The alternative labour serviceman may be transferred to perform his service in another institution or place upon the order or initiative of the authorised public authority in the field of defence.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">4. The alternative labour serviceman shall remain at his place of service around the clock. The place of service is considered to be the area which the institution has the authority to be in charge of, to possess and to use.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">5. The alternative labour serviceman may not be appointed to managerial posts or be involved in other activities during his service.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">6. The alternative labour servicemen shall be discharged from service to the reserve and registered in the reserve in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law.”</span></p> <p class="s19630BCC"><span class="sDFC50A6A">Section 18. Responsibilities of the head of the institution where alternative labour service is performed</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">“1. The head of the institution where alternative labour service is performed shall provide the alternative labour serviceman with food, a prescribed uniform, underwear, a sleeping facility, and bedding and personal hygiene items; shall familiarise [the alternative labour serviceman] with the internal rules of work discipline and the specifics of the work to be performed.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">2. The head of the institution shall guarantee the alternative labour serviceman’s security at the place of service, oversee the implementation of the service and create the necessary conditions for the serviceman’s rest and family visits, in accordance with the procedure prescribed by the Act Establishing the Internal Regulations for Service in the Armed Forces.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">3. The head of the institution is responsible for the organisation and implementation of the alternative labour service at the institution.”</span></p> <p class="s19630BCC"><span class="sDFC50A6A">Section 19. Rights and obligations of alternative servicemen</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">“1. An alternative serviceman shall receive the same monthly allowance as that established for a private in compulsory military service. ...</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">...</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">4. During their service, alternative servicemen shall uphold the internal rules of service discipline, fulfil their responsibilities and follow the orders or instructions of the relevant head (or commander), wear the prescribed uniform and not leave the place of service without authorisation. ...”</span></p> <p class="s19630BCC"><span class="sDFC50A6A">Section 20. Social security cover for alternative servicemen and their family members</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">“1. Questions related to social security cover for alternative military servicemen and their family members are regulated by the Social Security of Military Servicemen and their Family Members Act.</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">2. Social security ... of alternative labour servicemen and their family members shall be implemented in accordance with the procedure prescribed by the State Pensions Act. ...”</span></p> <p class="sCC3BCF28"><span class="s6B621B36">2. Amendments of 2 May 2013 with effect from 8 June 2013</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><a class="bookmark" name="Act_shortcomings" id="Act_shortcomings"><span class="sB8D990E2">29</span></a><span class="sB8D990E2">. On 28 April 2011 amendments were proposed to the Alternative Service Act. In the Explanatory Report on the proposed amendments, it was indicated that the Act – adopted for the purpose of fulfilling the obligations assumed by Armenia upon joining the Council of Europe – fell short of international standards. Its main shortcomings included the following:</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">(a) The fact that those performing alternative labour service were under military supervision, which contradicted their religious beliefs. Moreover, military supervision was prescribed in the case not only of alternative military service but also of alternative labour service. It deprived those whose religious beliefs contradicted not only the bearing and use of arms but also any kind of service under military supervision, of an alternative to compulsory military service; and</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">(b) The duration of the alternative service.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><a class="bookmark" name="Act_amendments" id="Act_amendments"><span class="sB8D990E2">30</span></a><span class="sB8D990E2">. The amendments in question were eventually adopted on 2 May 2013 and entered into force on 8 June 2013. They included the following changes:</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">- section 5 was amended, reducing the duration of alternative military service to thirty months and that of alternative labour service to thirty-six months;</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">- in section 14 a distinction was made between alternative military service, which was to be organised and supervised by a public authority in the field of defence, and alternative labour service, which was to be organised and supervised by a public authority authorised by the Government. The new section 14 further specified that alternative labour service could not be supervised by the military;</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">- section 17 no longer required the head of the institution where alternative labour service was to be performed to ensure that the serviceman was fully occupied. The serviceman’s transfer could be ordered or initiated by the National Commission (see paragraphs 35 and 36 below) as opposed to an “authorised public authority in the field of defence” and he was no longer to be required to stay at his place of service around the clock;</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">- section 18(1) no longer required the head of the alternative service institution to provide the serviceman with food, uniform and other items. In the new section 18(2) reference to the Internal Regulations for Service in the Armed Forces was removed, and the new text required the head of the institution to ensure that the serviceman conditions of work were the same as those of other temporary or permanent employees.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">Pursuant to new section 19, an alternative labour serviceman was no longer to receive the same monthly allowance as that established for a private in compulsory military service, but an allowance of up to 30,000 Armenian drams. The obligation to wear a uniform was also removed.</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">C. Military Service Act (2002)</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><a class="bookmark" name="Military_Service_Act" id="Military_Service_Act"><span class="sB8D990E2">31</span></a><span class="sB8D990E2">. Section 4 provides that the term of compulsory military service for privates is twenty-four months.</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">D. Criminal Code Implementation Act (2003; as amended in 2013)</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><a class="bookmark" name="Operation_Act" id="Operation_Act"><span class="sB8D990E2">32</span></a><span class="sB8D990E2">. On 2 May 2013 a number of amendments to the Act were adopted. They entered into force on 8 June 2013 and included the following amendment:</span></p> <p class="s395BF5DF"><span class="sFBBFEE58">“A person who has committed an offence under [, </span><span class="s1A844BC0">inter alia</span><span class="sFBBFEE58">, Article 327 of the Criminal Code] motivated by his religious beliefs or views and who is serving a sentence ..., may apply to a court for review of the sentence. The court shall discontinue any criminal proceedings and dispense the person concerned from serving the remainder of the sentence, provided that he applies for alternative service before 1 August 2013 and the authorised body decides to grant the application in accordance with the procedure prescribed by the Alternative Service Act.”</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">E. Government Decree No. 940-N of 25 June 2004 establishing the list of institutions where alternative service may be performed and the rules concerning the alternative serviceman’s uniform</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><a class="bookmark" name="Decree_institutions_uniform" id="Decree_institutions_uniform"><span class="sB8D990E2">33</span></a><span class="sB8D990E2">. Pursuant to paragraph 2(b), alternative labour servicemen were to perform their service in various institutions under the authority of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, such as orphanages, retirement homes, mental health institutions, institutions for disabled persons and hospitals. They were to perform the functions of an orderly. Pursuant to paragraph 3, the Minister of Defence, the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs and the Minister of Health were entrusted with providing alternative labour servicemen with clothing, food and financial means. The decree also set out the rules on the uniforms to be worn by both alternative military servicemen and alternative labour servicemen.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><a class="bookmark" name="Decree_940_amended" id="Decree_940_amended"><span class="sB8D990E2">34</span></a><span class="sB8D990E2">. On 1 August 2013 the decree was amended and made applicable only to alternative military servicemen.</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">F. Government Decree No. 271-N of 10 March 2005 approving the establishment, procedures and composition of the National Commission examining applications for alternative service</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><a class="bookmark" name="Decree_271_start" id="Decree_271_start"><span class="sB8D990E2">35</span></a><span class="sB8D990E2">. The decree established a National Commission to examine applications for alternative service. The commission was composed of the head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Armenia, as its president, the Military Commissar of Armenia (</span><span class="s6B621B36">ՀՀ զինվորական կոմիսար</span><span class="sB8D990E2">) as its vice-president, the Deputy Minister of Health, the Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, the head of the Governmental Department for National Minorities and Religious Affairs, and the head of the Governmental Department for Administrative Bodies.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><a class="bookmark" name="Decree_271_end" id="Decree_271_end"><span class="sB8D990E2">36</span></a><span class="sB8D990E2">. On 25 July 2013 the decree was repealed and replaced with Decree No. 797-A, which modified the composition of the National Commission to include the First Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration as its president, the Deputy Minister of Health, the Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, the Deputy Minister of Education and Science, the Deputy Minister of Defence, the Deputy Chief of Police and the head of the Governmental Department for National Minorities and Religion.</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">G. Order No. 142 of 20 December 2004 of the Head of General Staff of the Armed Forces of Armenia</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><a class="bookmark" name="Order_No142" id="Order_No142"><span class="sB8D990E2">37</span></a><span class="sB8D990E2">. For the purpose of supervising the work discipline of persons conscripted to the alternative labour service, the Military Commissar of Armenia and the head of the Military Police Division of the Ministry of Defence were ordered: (a) to carry out weekly joint spot checks to verify the presence of persons performing alternative labour service at the institutions located within the territory of the regional military commissariats and their sub-divisions; (b) to report the results of such checks to the head of the General Staff at the end of each month; and (c) to report immediately to the head of the General Staff in the event that any alternative labour servicemen were absent and to take necessary measures to find them.</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">H. Case-law of the Court of Cassation</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><a class="bookmark" name="CassationCourt" id="CassationCourt"><span class="sB8D990E2">38</span></a><span class="sB8D990E2">. On 28 March 2014 and 27 March 2015 the Court of Cassation examined appeals by two conscientious objectors against their convictions by the lower courts under Article 327 of the Criminal Code (criminal cases nos. KD1/0053/01/12 and GD1/0006/01/13). It found that since their cases met the conditions specified in the Criminal Code Implementation Act, as amended on 8 June 2013, the provisions of that Act were applicable and hence their sentences were to be quashed and the criminal proceedings discontinued for lack of </span><span class="s6B621B36">corpus delicti</span><span class="sB8D990E2">.</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">I. Human Rights Defender of Armenia</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><a class="bookmark" name="Report_Ombudsman" id="Report_Ombudsman"><span class="sB8D990E2">39</span></a><span class="sB8D990E2">. In his 2008 Annual Report, the Human Rights Defender noted:</span></p> <p class="s9E9B0CD7"><span class="s3AEEAB2">“The draftees who belong to the Jehovah’s Witnesses explain their refusal to sign up for alternative labour service by the fact that the service is managed and supervised by divisions of the ... Ministry of Defence. For example, the conscription to alternative labour service is conducted by military commissariats, or the ... Defence Ministry’s Military Police [Division] pays regular inspection visits to the institutions where the alternative labour service is being performed, requesting the alternative service personnel to line up and so on. In addition, some recruits expressed complaints that uniforms for alternative labour service personnel had been supplied by the ... Ministry of Defence.</span></p> <p class="s9E9B0CD7"><span class="sFBBFEE58">According to [section 18 of the Alternative Service Act], the party responsible for the implementation and supervision of alternative labour service shall be the head of the institution where the alternative labour service is ... performed. However, [section 14 of the same Act] states that conscription to alternative service shall be organised and supervised by [an authorised public authority in the field of defence]. Indeed, the ... Ministry of Defence justifies its regular inspection visits [by] the Military Police as [being in] implementation of [section 14] and claims that the purpose of such visits is to verify that alternative service personnel are actually at the places where alternative labour service is ... conducted.</span></p> <p class="s9E9B0CD7"><span class="sFBBFEE58">Taking this into account, the Human Rights Defender’s Office recommends that changes be made to the legislation so that the responsibility for processing alternative service applications and the subsequent implementation and supervision of alternative service be given to an authorised ... labour and social security body. Thus, rather than registering alternative servicemen in the registries of the military reserve force, which is the current requirement of the ... [Military Liability Act], it is possible to envisage [register] for citizens who have performed alternative service that is accompanied by a new type of [record booklet] to be established by law (in contrast to the regular military [record booklet]).”</span></p> <p class="s1BD70772"><span class="sB8D990E2">III. RELEVANT INTERNATIONAL MATERIALS</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">A. Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe</span></p> <p class="sCC3BCF28"><span class="s6B621B36">1. Recommendation No. R(87)8 regarding Conscientious Objection to Compulsory Military Service</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">40. The Committee of Ministers noted that “alternative service shall not be of a punitive nature. Its duration shall, in comparison to that of military service, remain within reasonable limits”.</span></p> <p class="sCC3BCF28"><span class="s6B621B36">2. Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)4 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on human rights of members of the armed forces</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">41. The Committee of Ministers recommended that member States ensure that any limitations on the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion of members of the armed forces comply with the requirements of Article 9 § 2 of the Convention, that conscripts have the right to be granted conscientious objector status and that alternative service of a civilian nature be proposed to them. The Explanatory Memorandum to this Recommendation noted, in particular, that the length of any alternative service to be performed by objectors should be reasonable in comparison with the length of ordinary military service. It further noted that the European Committee of Social Rights had deemed alternative service exceeding one‑and‑a‑half times the length of military service to be excessive.</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">B. Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)</span></p> <p class="sCC3BCF28"><span class="s6B621B36">1. General documents</span></p> <p class="sC9A68B25"><span class="sDFC50A6A">Recommendation 1518 (2001): Exercise of the right of conscientious objection to military service in Council of Europe member States</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">42. PACE recommended that the Committee of Ministers invite those member States that had not yet done so to introduce into their legislation a genuine alternative service of a clearly civilian nature, which should be neither deterrent nor punitive in character.</span></p> <p class="sCC3BCF28"><span class="s6B621B36">2. Armenia-specific documents</span></p> <p class="sC9A68B25"><span class="sDFC50A6A">(a) Opinion no. 221 (2000): Armenia’s application for membership of the Council of Europe</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">43. PACE noted that Armenia had undertaken to honour the following commitment: “to adopt, within three years of accession, a law on alternative service in compliance with European standards and, in the meantime, to pardon all conscientious objectors sentenced to prison terms or service in disciplinary battalions, allowing them instead to choose, when the law on alternative service had come into force, to perform non-armed military service or alternative civilian service”.</span></p> <p class="sC9A68B25"><span class="sDFC50A6A">(b) Resolution 1532 (2007): Honouring of obligations and commitments by Armenia</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><a class="bookmark" name="PACE_start" id="PACE_start"><span class="sB8D990E2">44</span></a><span class="sB8D990E2">. As regards Armenia’s commitment to enact legislation on alternative service “in compliance with European standards” and “pardon all conscientious objectors sentenced to prison terms”, PACE noted with disappointment that the current law, as amended in 2005 and subsequently in June 2006, still did not offer conscientious objectors any guarantee of “genuine alternative service of a clearly civilian nature, which should be neither deterrent nor punitive in character”, as provided for by Council of Europe standards. It was deeply concerned that, for lack of a genuine form of civilian service, dozens of conscientious objectors, most of whom were Jehovah’s Witnesses, continued to be imprisoned, since they preferred prison to an alternative service which was not of a truly civilian nature. PACE urged the Armenian authorities to amend the law on alternative service in accordance with the recommendations made by the Council of Europe experts and, in the meantime, to pardon the young conscientious objectors serving prison sentences.</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">C. European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">45. In its Second Report on Armenia adopted on 30 June 2006, the ECRI noted:</span></p> <p class="s9E9B0CD7"><span class="sFBBFEE58">“The overwhelming majority of conscientious objectors in Armenia are Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are thus disproportionately affected by the issue of alternative service. On this point, the Armenian Parliament passed, on 1 December 2003, the [Alternative Service Act] which took effect on 1 July 2004. This law provides for alternative military service of 36 months and an alternative civilian service of 42 months. ECRI notes that alternative civilian service, which lasts longer than actual military service, is carried out under military supervision. ECRI has further been informed that directors of institutions (which include hospitals) where conscientious objectors carry out their duty receive their instructions about the conditions and modalities of their service from the military. Moreover, conscientious objectors are sent to military hospitals for medical treatment, they are largely confined to their place of service and required to wear military uniform. They also receive assignments and changes of assignments which are determined by the military. ... ECRI wishes to point out that the aim of the [Alternative Service Act] was to prevent conscientious objectors from being imprisoned for refusing to carry out military service. However, as a number of people are currently in prison for leaving or refusing to join the alternative civilian service due to the military influence on this service, the aim of the [Alternative Service Act] has unfortunately not been met.”</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">D. Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><a class="bookmark" name="Commissioner_report" id="Commissioner_report"><span class="sB8D990E2">46</span></a><span class="sB8D990E2">. In his report of 9 May 2011 following his visit to Armenia from 18 to 21 January 2011, the Commissioner stated:</span></p> <p class="s9E9B0CD7"><span class="sFBBFEE58">“The issue of imprisoned conscientious objectors – currently, all of whom are members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses community – has been on the table for many years. Conscientious objectors are not willing to perform an alternative service option which is under the supervision of the military. There is still no alternative to military service available in Armenia which can be qualified as genuinely civilian in nature. The Commissioner strongly believes that conscientious objectors should not be imprisoned and urges the authorities to put in place an alternative civilian service.</span></p> <p class="s9E9B0CD7"><span class="sFBBFEE58">...</span></p> <p class="s9E9B0CD7"><span class="sFBBFEE58">The right to conscientious objection remains an open issue in Armenia. Those asking to perform civilian service on the basis of conscientious objection are mainly members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses community. Over 70 persons are currently imprisoned for their refusal to serve in the army or to perform alternative military service. The conscientious objectors have all been sentenced under Section 327.1 of the Criminal Code to imprisonment ranging from 24 to 36 months.</span></p> <p class="s9E9B0CD7"><span class="sFBBFEE58">The Law on Alternative service was adopted in 2003 and entered into force in 2004. The performance of alternative service remains under the supervision of the military, which constitutes a major obstacle for members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses community on the basis of their religious beliefs. Another issue is the potentially punitive length of the civilian service, which currently amounts to 42 months, while regular military service is 24 months. In this respect, the European Committee of Social Rights of the Council of Europe has found that a period of alternative service which is double the duration of military service is excessively lengthy and contrary to Article 1.2 of the European Social Charter. Under this article, alternative service may not exceed one and a half times the length of armed military service.</span></p> <p class="s9E9B0CD7"><span class="sFBBFEE58">At their meeting with the Commissioner, officials from the Ministry of Defence expressed readiness to amend the [Alternative Service Act]. In particular, the Minister indicated that on the basis of the amendments, supervision will be exercised by a ministry designated for the implementation of alternative service (labour, health, defence, etc.), thereby suggesting that a genuinely civilian service would be available. The draft Law on Amendments to the [Alternative Service Act] was adopted by the government in April 2011.</span></p> <p class="s9E9B0CD7"><span class="s1A844BC0">Conclusions and recommendations</span></p> <p class="s9E9B0CD7"><span class="sFBBFEE58">...</span></p> <p class="s9E9B0CD7"><span class="sFBBFEE58">The Commissioner finds that there is an urgent need to review the [Alternative Service Act] and to develop appropriate mechanisms in order to create a genuinely civilian service option in Armenia. It is also important that the length of the alternative service be adjusted – taking into consideration the duration of military service - in a way that it is not perceived as punitive, deterrent or discriminatory.”</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><a class="bookmark" name="Reports_end" id="Reports_end"><span class="sB8D990E2">47</span></a><span class="sB8D990E2">. In their formal response to the Commissioner’s report, the Government admitted that the exercise of the right to conscientious objection was still flawed in Armenia, and that they intended to introduce further legislative amendments to promote civilian control over alternative service and completely to withdraw military control over such service. That function was to be assigned to a new body composed of representatives of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and strictly civil service officers of the Ministry of Defence.</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">E. European Committee of Social Rights</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><a class="bookmark" name="ECSR_Conclusions" id="ECSR_Conclusions"><span class="sB8D990E2">48</span></a><span class="sB8D990E2">. In its Conclusions XIX-1 of 24 October 2008 regarding compliance by Greece with Article 1 § 2 of the European Social Charter (The right to work: effective protection of the right of the worker to earn his living in an occupation freely entered upon), the European Committee of Social Rights noted:</span></p> <p class="s9E9B0CD7"><span class="sFBBFEE58">“The Committee notes that [the periods of alternative service to replace armed military service] are nearly double the length of armed military service. Admittedly, recognised conscientious objectors are in a better position than they are in countries that do no grant them special status or where refusal to serve is punishable by imprisonment. But even if the state acknowledges the principle of conscientious objection and institutes alternative service instead, it cannot make the latter longer than is necessary to ensure that refusal to serve on grounds of conscience is genuine and the choice of alternative service is not seen as advantageous rather than duty. Under Article 1 § 2 of the Charter, alternative service may not exceed one and a half times the length of armed military service.”</span></p> <p class="s30CCF494"><span class="s32A37344">THE LAW</span></p> <p class="s1BD70772"><span class="sB8D990E2">I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">49. The applicants complained that the criminal proceedings against them and their convictions had violated their rights guaranteed by Article 9 of the Convention, which reads as follows:</span></p> <p class="s9E9B0CD7"><span class="sFBBFEE58">“1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.</span></p> <p class="s9E9B0CD7"><span class="sFBBFEE58">2. Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">A. Admissibility</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">50. The Government argued that the applicants had failed to exhaust domestic remedies. In particular, on 2 May 2013 amendments were introduced to the Criminal Code Implementation Act, pursuant to which: (a) a person serving a sentence under Article 327 of the Criminal Code was to be released provided that he applied for alternative service before 1 August 2013 and his application was granted; (b) both pre-trial and trial proceedings were to be discontinued; (c) the criminal record of those concerned was to be deleted; and (d) the term of alternative service was to be reduced by the period of actual service of the sentence or the period of deprivation of liberty during criminal prosecution. After the adoption of those amendments, the Court of Cassation quashed a number of convictions of conscientious objectors and discontinued the criminal proceedings for lack of </span><span class="s6B621B36">corpus delicti</span><span class="sB8D990E2">. The amendments were introduced while the applicants were still serving their sentences. Thus, they had the possibility to be afforded appropriate redress by means of acquittal and rehabilitation had they applied for alternative service before a specific date, but they had not seized that opportunity.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">51. The applicants contested the Government’s non-exhaustion claim and argued that the provisions of the Criminal Code Implementation Act as amended did not constitute an effective remedy as they did not provide a possibility for genuine rehabilitation or for compensation to be paid. Substituting the remainder of their sentences with alternative service would have led to a situation in which, having served twenty-four months in prison, they would still need to perform a further twelve months of alternative service, because one full day of imprisonment was equivalent to one eight-hour working day of alternative service. Such a scheme was punitive and akin to substituting their terms of imprisonment for a non‑custodial sentence and then increasing their sentences from thirty to thirty‑six months, which could not be considered an acquittal or rehabilitation. Moreover, the Government had failed to disclose that the National Commission, that is the authority entrusted with deciding on applications for alternative service, did not begin functioning until months after the amendments had been introduced, with its first hearing being held on 23 October 2013. By then, the applicants had already been released from prison.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">52. The Court considers that the Government’s objection of non‑exhaustion is closely linked to the substance of the applicants’ complaint and must be joined to the merits.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">53. Furthermore, although the parties did not contest the applicability of Article 9 to the case, the Court considers it necessary to address this question of its own motion. It reiterates in this regard that opposition to military service, where it is motivated by a serious and insurmountable conflict between the obligation to serve in the army and a person’s conscience or his deeply and genuinely held religious or other beliefs, constitutes a conviction or belief of sufficient cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance to attract the guarantees of Article 9. Whether and to what extent objection to military service falls within the ambit of that provision must be assessed in the light of the particular circumstances of the case (see </span><span class="s6B621B36">Bayatyan v. Armenia</span><span class="sB8D990E2"> [GC], no. <a class="appNumberLink" href="https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#%7B%22appno%22:[%2223459/03%22]%7D" target="_blank">23459/03</a>, § 110, ECHR 2011; </span><span class="s6B621B36">Erçep v. Turkey</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, no. <a class="appNumberLink" href="https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#%7B%22appno%22:[%2243965/04%22]%7D" target="_blank">43965/04</a>, § 47, 22 November 2011; </span><span class="s6B621B36">Savda v. Turkey</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, no. <a class="appNumberLink" href="https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#%7B%22appno%22:[%2242730/05%22]%7D" target="_blank">42730/05</a>, § 91, 12 June 2012; and </span><span class="s6B621B36">Papavasilakis v. Greece</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, no. <a class="appNumberLink" href="https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#%7B%22appno%22:[%2266899/14%22]%7D" target="_blank">66899/14</a>, § 36, 15 September 2016).</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">54. In the present case, the applicants are Jehovah’s Witnesses, a religious group whose beliefs include the conviction that service, even unarmed, within the military is to be opposed. Article 9 has been already found to be applicable to such opposition to military service (see </span><span class="s6B621B36">Bayatyan</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, cited above, § 111). However, in contrast to the case of </span><span class="s6B621B36">Bayatyan</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, the applicants in the present case objected to performing not only military service but also the substitute service which had been available in Armenia since 2004, alleging that it was not of a genuinely civilian nature and was punitive in nature. Having regard to the overall circumstances of the case, the Court has no reason to doubt that the applicants’ objection to both military and alternative service was motivated by their religious beliefs, which were genuinely held and were in serious and insurmountable conflict with their obligation to perform such service. Accordingly, Article 9 is applicable to the applicants’ case.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">55. The Court notes that this complaint is not manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 (a) of the Convention. It further notes that it is not inadmissible on any other grounds. It must therefore be declared admissible.</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">B. Merits</span></p> <p class="sCC3BCF28"><span class="s6B621B36">1. The parties’ submissions</span></p> <p class="sC9A68B25"><span class="sDFC50A6A">(a) The applicant</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">56. The applicants alleged that the alternative labour service was not of a genuinely civilian nature, referring to the arguments raised in that connection in their appeals (see paragraph 21 above). Although the physical work of an alternative labour serviceman was technically performed at a civilian institution, everything about that programme and all the activities of the serviceman were under military control and supervision. The military authorities could transfer an alternative labour serviceman at will to another assignment. He was required to be at his place of assignment twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and was ordered to wear a uniform provided by the military authorities, which was similar in appearance to a military uniform. The cover of the alternative labour serviceman’s record booklet bore the military insignia and once his service had been completed he would be discharged and registered in the military reserve. Any violation of the prescribed procedure was sanctioned in accordance with military rules and any orders given to an alternative labour serviceman were to be implemented in accordance with a procedure prescribed by the Act Establishing the Internal Rules of Service in the Armed Forces. Alternative labour servicemen were at all times subject to military authority and discipline. Thus, it could not be said that the alternative labour service contained only a few formal elements of military supervision, as the Government claimed (see paragraph 58 below). In fact, from the perspective of their religious conscience, it was the same as unarmed military service.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">57. The applicants further referred to the fact that the law was later amended, arguing that the Government had conceded that it had been fundamentally flawed. One of the main defects identified when the amendments were proposed was that the alternative labour service was under military control. Prior to those amendments there had been no genuine alternative service of a clearly civilian nature in Armenia. PACE and the Committee of Ministers had repeatedly called on the Armenian authorities to introduce a clearly civilian service. The applicants submitted that the fact that the law had eventually been amended in 2013 to remove all military control and supervision and to place the programme under a purely civilian administration also confirmed that it had not been necessary in a democratic society to prosecute and imprison them.</span></p> <p class="sC9A68B25"><span class="sDFC50A6A">(b) The Government</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><a class="bookmark" name="Gov_observations" id="Gov_observations"><span class="sB8D990E2">58</span></a><span class="sB8D990E2">. The Government submitted that in 2003 Armenia had enacted a law on alternative service as part of the commitments undertaken upon joining the Council of Europe. Unfortunately, it transpired that there were a number of omissions in that law and inconsistencies with the European standards. However, in deciding on the applicants’ criminal cases, the domestic courts were bound to apply the law as in force at the material time. Referring to the findings of the Criminal Court of Appeal, the Government argued that the alternative labour service available at the material time was of a civilian nature and contained only a few formal elements of military supervision in theory, not being directly controlled by the military in practice. Thus, the interference was legitimate and prescribed by law.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">59. The Government further submitted that the present case was to be distinguished from the </span><span class="s6B621B36">Bayatyan </span><span class="sB8D990E2">case, since the applicants in the present case had had the possibility of substituting military service with alternative service of a civilian nature. Nevertheless, taking into account the shift in the case-law brought about by the </span><span class="s6B621B36">Bayatyan</span><span class="sB8D990E2"> judgment and a number of opinions and recommendations of various international bodies, including the Venice Commission, the domestic law was amended on 2 May 2013 in order to provide a possibility for those who objected not only to the carrying of arms or performing other military activities but also to serving under any type of military command in general. In conclusion, there had been no interference with the applicants’ right to freedom of thought, conscience or religion and there had been no violation of Article 9 of the Convention.</span></p> <p class="sCC3BCF28"><span class="s6B621B36">2. The Court’s assessment</span></p> <p class="sC9A68B25"><span class="sDFC50A6A">(a) Whether there was an interference</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">60. The Government made contradictory submissions regarding the existence of an interference, arguing, on the one hand, that “the interference was legitimate and prescribed by law”, but, on the other hand, that there was no interference. In any event, the Court considers that the applicants’ refusal to be drafted to military and alternative service was a manifestation of their religious beliefs and their conviction for draft evasion therefore amounted to an interference with their freedom to manifest their religion, as guaranteed by Article 9 § 1 (see, </span><span class="s6B621B36">mutatis mutandis</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, </span><span class="s6B621B36">Bayatyan</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, cited above, § 112). Such interference will be contrary to Article 9 unless </span><a class="bookmark" name="HIT1" id="HIT1"></a><span class="sB8D990E2">it is “</span><a class="bookmark" name="HIT2" id="HIT2"></a><span class="sB8D990E2">prescribed by </span><a class="bookmark" name="HIT3" id="HIT3"></a><span class="sB8D990E2">law”, pursues one or more of the legitimate aims set out in paragraph 2 and is “necessary in a democratic society” (see, among other authorities, </span><span class="s6B621B36">İzzettin Doğan and Others v. Turkey </span><span class="sB8D990E2">[GC], no. <a class="appNumberLink" href="https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#%7B%22appno%22:[%2262649/10%22]%7D" target="_blank">62649/10</a>, § 98, ECHR 2016).</span></p> <p class="sC9A68B25"><span class="sDFC50A6A">(b) Whether the interference was justified</span></p> <p class="sCE894633"><span class="s1A844BC0">(i) Prescribed by law and legitimate aim</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">61. It is not in dispute between the parties as to whether the interference was prescribed by law and pursued a legitimate aim.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">62. The Court considers it unnecessary to determine this question, since the interference was in any event incompatible with Article 9 for the reasons set out below (see, </span><span class="s6B621B36">mutatis mutandis</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, </span><span class="s6B621B36">Bayatyan</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, cited above, §§ 113-117).</span></p> <p class="sCE894633"><span class="s1A844BC0">(ii) Necessary in a democratic society</span></p> <p class="s6FFA049A"><span class="s1A844BC0">(α) General principles</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">63. The Court reiterates that, as enshrined in Article 9, freedom of thought, conscience and religion is one of the foundations of a “democratic society” within the meaning of the Convention. This freedom is, in its religious dimension, one of the most vital elements that go to make up the identity of believers and their conception of life, but it is also a precious asset for atheists, agnostics, sceptics and the unconcerned. The pluralism indissociable from a democratic society, which has been dearly won over the centuries, depends on it. That freedom entails, </span><span class="s6B621B36">inter alia</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, freedom to hold or not to hold religious beliefs and to practise or not to practise a religion (see </span><span class="s6B621B36">Buscarini and Others v. San Marino </span><span class="sB8D990E2">[GC], no. <a class="appNumberLink" href="https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#%7B%22appno%22:[%2224645/94%22]%7D" target="_blank">24645/94</a>, § 34, ECHR 1999‑I; </span><span class="s6B621B36">Leyla Şahin v. Turkey</span><span class="sB8D990E2"> [GC], no. <a class="appNumberLink" href="https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#%7B%22appno%22:[%2244774/98%22]%7D" target="_blank">44774/98</a>, § 104, ECHR 2005‑XI; and </span><span class="s6B621B36">Bayatyan</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, cited above, § 118).</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">64. While religious freedom is primarily a matter of individual conscience, it also implies, </span><span class="s6B621B36">inter alia</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, freedom to manifest one’s religion, alone and in private, or in community with others, in public and within the circle of those whose faith one shares. Article 9 lists a number of forms which manifestation of one’s religion or belief may take, namely worship, teaching, practice and observance (see </span><span class="s6B621B36">Hasan and Chaush v. Bulgaria</span><span class="sB8D990E2"> [GC], no. <a class="appNumberLink" href="https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#%7B%22appno%22:[%2230985/96%22]%7D" target="_blank">30985/96</a>, § 60, ECHR 2000‑XI, and </span><span class="s6B621B36">Bayatyan</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, cited above, § 119).</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">65. According to its settled case-law, the Court leaves to States Parties to the Convention a certain margin of appreciation in deciding whether and to what extent an interference is necessary. This margin of appreciation goes hand in hand with European supervision embracing both the law and the decisions applying it. The Court’s task is to determine whether the measures taken at national level were justified in principle and proportionate (see </span><span class="s6B621B36">Leyla Şahin</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, cited above, § 110). Furthermore, in so far as the Court has had opportunity to consider this issue, it has made clear that a State which has not introduced alternatives to compulsory military service in order to reconcile the possible conflict between individual conscience and military obligations enjoys only a limited margin of appreciation and must advance convincing and compelling reasons to justify any interference. In particular, it must demonstrate that the interference corresponds to a “pressing social need” (see </span><span class="s6B621B36">Bayatyan</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, cited above, § 123).</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">66. The Court has also held that any system of compulsory military service imposes a heavy burden on citizens. It will be acceptable if it is shared in an equitable manner and if exemptions from this duty are based on solid and convincing grounds. However, a system which imposes on citizens an obligation which has potentially serious implications for conscientious objectors, such as the obligation to serve in the army, without making allowances for the exigencies of an individual’s conscience and beliefs, would fail to strike a fair balance between the interests of society as a whole and those of the individual (</span><span class="s6B621B36">ibid.</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, §§ 124 and 125).</span></p> <p class="s6FFA049A"><span class="s1A844BC0">(β) Application of the above principles to the present case</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">67. The Court notes that, in contrast to the </span><span class="s6B621B36">Bayatyan </span><span class="sB8D990E2">case cited above, the applicants in the present case, as already noted above, had the opportunity at the material time to refuse compulsory military service for reasons of conscience and to perform instead “alternative labour service”, pursuant to sections 2 and 3 of the Alternative Service Act, since such service had been introduced in Armenia since 2004 and was performed outside the armed forces of Armenia (see paragraph 28 above). However, in the Court’s opinion, that fact alone is not sufficient to conclude that the authorities have discharged their obligations under Article 9 of the Convention. The Court must also verify that the allowances made were appropriate for the exigencies of an individual’s conscience and beliefs. In this connection, while accepting that the States Parties to the Convention enjoy a certain margin of appreciation regarding the manner in which their systems of alternative service are organised and implemented, the Court considers that the right to conscientious objection guaranteed by Article 9 of the Convention would be illusory if a State were allowed to organise and implement its system of alternative service in a way that would fail to offer – whether in law or in practice – an alternative to military service of a genuinely civilian nature and one which was not deterrent or punitive in character. It is therefore necessary to determine whether the alternative labour service available to the applicants at the material time complied with those requirements.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">68. The Court notes that it is not in dispute between the parties that the work performed by alternative labour servicemen was of a civilian nature. Such servicemen were assigned to various civilian institutions, such as orphanages, retirement homes, mental health institutions, institutions for disabled persons and hospitals, and performed the functions of an orderly (see paragraph 33 above). However, in the Court’s opinion, the nature of the work performed is only one of the factors to be taken into account when deciding whether alternative service is of a genuinely civilian nature. Such factors as authority, control, applicable rules, as well as appearances may also be important for the determination of that question.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">69. The Court notes, firstly, that, while alternative labour servicemen were accountable and subordinate primarily to the heads of the civilian institutions where the service was performed, the military authorities were, nevertheless, actively involved in the supervision of that service. In particular, they carried out regular spot checks at the relevant civilian institutions, upon the order of the head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Armenia, for the purpose of “supervising the work discipline of alternative labour servicemen”. In the event of the unauthorised absence of an alternative labour serviceman, they were required to take measures to find him (see paragraph 37 above). Secondly, the military authorities had the power to influence an alternative labour serviceman’s service by ordering his transfer to another institution or place of service (see section 17(3) of the Alternative Service Act in paragraph 28 above). Thirdly, certain aspects of the alternative labour service were organised in accordance with the Internal Rules of Service in the Armed Forces (see section 18(2) of the Act in paragraph 28 above). The Court further refers to the findings of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, which the Government did not explicitly contest, according to which the heads of the civilian institutions where alternative labour service was performed received instructions about the conditions and modalities of the service from the military, while conscientious objectors were sent to military hospitals for medical treatment and received assignments and changes of assignments determined by the military (see paragraph 47 above). The Court therefore considers that the alternative labour service was not hierarchically and institutionally sufficiently separated from the military system at the material time. Furthermore, as regards appearances, the Court notes that alternative civilian servicemen were required to wear a uniform and to stay at their place of service. They also had “the Armed Forces of Armenia” written on the cover of their alternative labour serviceman’s record booklets. Thus, taking into account all the above-mentioned factors, the Court considers that the alternative labour service available to the applicants at the material time was not of a genuinely civilian nature.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">70. The Court turns to the question as to whether the alternative labour service could be perceived as being deterrent or punitive in character. It considers that the duration of the service may be a relevant factor to consider, among others, when determining this question. In this connection, the Court refers to the findings of the European Committee of Social Rights, also mentioned by the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe in his report following his visit to Armenia in January 2011, pursuant to which the length of alternative service may not exceed one and a half times the length of armed military service (see paragraphs 46 and 48 above). In Armenia, where armed military service lasts for a relatively long period of twenty-four months (see paragraph 31 above), the alternative labour service was significantly longer than one and a half times that period, lasting, at the material time, forty-two months (see section 5 of the Alternative Service Act in paragraph 28 above). In the Court’s opinion, such a significant difference in duration of service must have had a deterrent effect and can be said to have contained a punitive element.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">71. The Court also notes that the Government admitted that the system of alternative labour service, as provided for by the Alternative Service Act, had shortcomings. The Armenian parliament was even more explicit in its criticism of the alternative labour service, pointing out as two of its main shortcomings the military supervision and its duration (see paragraph 29 above). The Alternative Service Act was eventually amended in 2013 with the purpose of eliminating the shortcomings, and a number of relevant governmental decrees were subsequently also amended or repealed (see paragraphs 30, 34 and 36 above). The Court lastly notes that the shortcomings of the alternative labour service were also highlighted in a number of international and domestic reports (see paragraphs 39 and 44-47 above).</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">72. In the light of the above, the Court concludes that the authorities failed, at the material time, to make appropriate allowances for the exigencies of the applicants’ conscience and beliefs and to guarantee a system of alternative service that struck a fair balance between the interests of society as a whole and those of the applicants, as required by Article 9 of the Convention. It follows that the applicants’ convictions constituted interferences which were not necessary in a democratic society within the meaning of that provision.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">73. Having reached this conclusion, the Court considers it necessary to address the Government’s non-exhaustion objection. The Court notes that the authorities introduced legislative amendments on 8 June 2013 which allowed the applicants to have their final convictions reviewed and to be released from prison, conditional on having submitted applications before 1 August 2013 seeking to perform alternative service and on such applications being granted by the relevant authority (see paragraph 32 above). By then, the applicants had already served almost two years of their sentences. Furthermore, that measure was introduced after the applicants had already lodged their applications with the Court. The Court notes that, while the measure could have potentially led to the commutation of the remainder of the applicants’ sentences with alternative service and the quashing of their final convictions for lack of </span><span class="s6B621B36">corpus delicti</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, it does not appear from the case-law of the Court of Cassation – nor has it been argued by the Government – that it was meant to lead to an acknowledgement of a violation of their rights guaranteed by Article 9 of the Convention or to an award of compensation for any non-pecuniary damage suffered by the applicants as a result of an alleged violation of those rights (see paragraph 38 above). Moreover, that measure was conditional on the applicants’ performance of alternative service instead of the remainder of their sentences and depended on the positive exercise of a discretion by the relevant authority. In such circumstances, the Court considers that the measure in question was not an effective and adequate remedy capable of providing redress in respect of violations of the applicants’ rights. It therefore decides to dismiss the Government’s non-exhaustion objection.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">74. There has accordingly been a violation of Article 9 of the Convention.</span></p> <p class="s1BD70772"><span class="sB8D990E2">II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 5 OF THE CONVENTION</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">75. The first, third and fourth applicants complained that the courts had failed to provide relevant and sufficient reasons in their decisions to detain them. They relied on Article 5 § 1 of the Convention.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">76. The Government contested those allegations.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">77. Having regard to the facts of the case, the submissions of the parties and its findings under Article 9 of the Convention, the Court considers that it has examined the main legal question raised in the present application and that there is no need to give a separate ruling on this complaint (see, </span><span class="s6B621B36">mutatis mutandis</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, </span><span class="s6B621B36">Kamil Uzun v. Turkey</span><span class="sB8D990E2">, no. <a class="appNumberLink" href="https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#%7B%22appno%22:[%2237410/97%22]%7D" target="_blank">37410/97</a>, § 64, 10 May 2007, and </span><span class="s6B621B36">Centre for Legal Resources on behalf of Valentin Câmpeanu v. Romania</span><span class="sB8D990E2"> [GC], no. <a class="appNumberLink" href="https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#%7B%22appno%22:[%2247848/08%22]%7D" target="_blank">47848/08</a>, § 156, ECHR 2014).</span></p> <p class="s1BD70772"><span class="sB8D990E2">III. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">78. Article 41 of the Convention provides:</span></p> <p class="sBD4B43CB"><span class="sFBBFEE58">“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">A. Damage</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">79. The applicants claimed 32,400 euros (EUR) each in respect of non‑pecuniary damage.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">80. The Government contested the claims and submitted that the amounts claimed were exorbitant.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">81. The Court considers that the applicants have undoubtedly suffered non-pecuniary damage as a result of their convictions and imprisonment. It awards them EUR 12,000 each in respect of such damage.</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">B. Costs and expenses</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">82. The applicants also claimed a total of EUR 11,900 for the costs of the two lawyers who represented them before the domestic courts and EUR 9,000 for the costs of the two lawyers who represented them before the Court. In support of their claims, the applicants submitted letters addressed to them by the lawyers requesting lump-sum payments for various portions of the work done.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">83. The Government submitted that the amounts requested were excessive and not duly substantiated. Firstly, the applicants had engaged an excessive number of lawyers. Secondly, the hourly rates claimed (EUR 200 to 300) were unheard of in Armenia. Thirdly, the amounts in question cannot be said to have been actually incurred because the letters submitted by the applicants, in the absence of an actual contract between the parties or an invoice, could not serve as a proof of payment or of an obligation to pay. Fourthly, the applicants had failed to provide detailed information on the number of hours of work performed.</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">84. According to the Court’s case-law, an applicant is entitled to the reimbursement of costs and expenses only in so far as it has been shown that these have been actually and necessarily incurred and are reasonable as to quantum. In the present case, the applicants have failed to submit any legal document, such as a contract signed with their representatives or invoices issued by them, in support of their claim that they were bound to pay the amounts in question. The letters submitted by the applicants could not serve as such proof. In such circumstances, the Court rejects the applicants’ claim for legal costs.</span></p> <p class="sD5B7D322"><span class="s7D2086B4">C. Default interest</span></p> <p class="s30EEC3F8"><span class="sB8D990E2">85. The Court considers it appropriate that the default interest rate should be based on the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank, to which should be added three percentage points.</span></p> <p class="s30CCF494"><span class="s32A37344">FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT, UNANIMOUSLY,</span></p> <p class="s52B9FB1C"><span class="sB8D990E2">1. </span><span class="s6B621B36">Decides </span><span class="sB8D990E2">to join to the merits the Government’s objection of the alleged non-exhaustion of domestic remedies and </span><span class="s6B621B36">rejects </span><span class="sB8D990E2">it;</span></p> <p class="s52B9FB1C"><span class="sB8D990E2">2. </span><span class="s6B621B36">Declares</span><span class="sB8D990E2"> the complaints concerning an alleged violation of the applicants’ right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and the alleged failure of the courts to provide relevant and sufficient reasons for detaining the first, third and fourth applicants admissible;</span></p> <p class="s52B9FB1C"><span class="sB8D990E2">3. </span><span class="s6B621B36">Holds</span><span class="sB8D990E2"> that there has been a violation of Article 9 of the Convention; </span></p> <p class="s52B9FB1C"><span class="sB8D990E2">4. </span><span class="s6B621B36">Holds</span><span class="sB8D990E2"> that there is no need to rule separately on the complaints of the first, third and fourth applicants communicated under Article 5 of the Convention;</span></p> <p class="s52B9FB1C"><span class="sB8D990E2">5. </span><span class="s6B621B36">Holds</span></p> <p class="s6C21291F"><span class="sB8D990E2">(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicants, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, EUR 12,000 (twelve thousand euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non-pecuniary damage,</span><span class="s7D2086B4"> </span><span class="sB8D990E2">to be converted into Armenian drams at the rate applicable at the date of settlement;</span></p> <p class="s6C21291F"><span class="sB8D990E2">(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points;</span></p> <p class="s52B9FB1C"><span class="sB8D990E2">6. </span><span class="s6B621B36">Dismisses</span><span class="sB8D990E2"> the remainder of the applicants’ claim for just satisfaction.</span></p> <p class="sFA83D483"><span class="sB8D990E2">Done in English, and notified in writing on 12 October 2017, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.</span></p> <p class="s63F375A7"><span class="sB8D990E2">Abel Campos</span><span class="sB8D990E2">Linos-Alexandre Sicilianos</span><br /> <span class="sB8D990E2">Registrar</span><span class="sB8D990E2">President</span></p> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-countries--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-countries.html.twig * field--expert--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-countries.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--node--field-countries.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-countries.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/148" hreflang="en">Armenia</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-theme--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-theme--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-theme.html.twig * field--expert--field-theme--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-theme.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-theme--story.html.twig * field--node--field-theme.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-theme.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/57" hreflang="en">Conscientious objection</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-institutions--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-institutions--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-institutions.html.twig * field--expert--field-institutions--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-institutions.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-institutions--story.html.twig * field--node--field-institutions.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-institutions.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Institutions</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/387" hreflang="en">European Court of Human Rights</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * links--node.html.twig x links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/links.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/links.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--comment--rss.html.twig * field--default--node--comment--story.html.twig * field--default--node--story.html.twig * field--default--node--comment.html.twig * field--default--comment--story.html.twig * field--default--story.html.twig * field--default--comment.html.twig * field--default.html.twig * field--theme-ds-field-default.html.twig x field--node--comment--story.html.twig * field--node--comment.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--comment.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/wri_main/templates/field/field--node--comment--story.html.twig' --> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=41252&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="wg9IQID5yGrJxkUfaWIS458Fx3rtgZKjfdNZFPRvpEQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/wri_main/templates/field/field--node--comment--story.html.twig' --> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-1col.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-entity-view.html.twig' --> Tue, 05 Dec 2017 14:52:11 +0000 HBrock 41252 at https://updates.wri-irg.org Armenia: possible end to the jailing of COs https://updates.wri-irg.org/en/story/2013/armenia-possible-end-jailing-cos <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'ds_entity_view' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-entity-view.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'ds_1col' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * ds-1col--node--21981.html.twig * ds-1col--node-story-rss.html.twig * ds-1col--node-story.html.twig * ds-1col--node-rss.html.twig * ds-1col--node.html.twig x ds-1col.html.twig x ds-1col.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-1col.html.twig' --> <div data-history-node-id="21981" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node-post-date---custom.html.twig * field--expert--node--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--node-post-date.html.twig * field--expert--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--node-post-date.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--node--node-post-date.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--node-post-date.html.twig * field--ds.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <time > 20 Jun 2013</time> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--body--rss.html.twig * field--default--node--body--story.html.twig * field--default--node--story.html.twig * field--default--node--body.html.twig * field--default--body--story.html.twig * field--default--story.html.twig * field--default--body.html.twig * field--default.html.twig * field--theme-ds-field-default.html.twig * field--node--body--story.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Armenia's Ministry of Justice has presented to parliament amendments to provide for a substitute 'civilian' service. These have now passed all their readings, and therefore the amendments to the 2003 Alternative Service Law and to the 2003 Law on Implementing the Criminal Code should be enacted.</p> <p>There has been a law for substitute service in Armenia since 2003 (entering into force 2004), but the alternative service was still entirely controlled by the military, and therefore it neither met international standards on substitute service, nor was it sufficient for the many Jehovah's Witnesses in Armenia who refuse to serve under the military (of the approximately 275 young men who have been convicted and imprisoned to punish them for their conscientious objection to military service in the past decade, all but one have been Jehovah's Witnesses).</p> <p>These amendments means that two forms of substitute service will come into play: 1.) "Alternative military service" for 30 months which is not connected with bearing, keeping, maintaining or using weapons; and 2.) "Alternative labour service" for 36 months not connected with the armed forces. These changes are likely to mean that Jehovah's Wintesses will no longer face a prison sentence, since they are likely to take up these substitute service options.</p> <p>The changes also allow for substitute labour service for all young men with a conscientious objection to military service, whether they are religious or not, according to Forum 18.</p> <p>Previously the Armenian government committed itself, on joining the Council of Europe, to introduce a civilian, non-military alternative service by January 2004, but it failed to do so. It also pledged to release all those imprisoned for refusing military service in the interim, but continued with a policy of imprisonment.</p> <p><em>Sources</em>: Forum 18, <a href="//www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=1844" target="”_blank”">ARMENIA: New legal amendments to end conscientious objector jailings?</a>, 6 June 2013; Forum 18, <a href="//www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=1745target=”_blank”">ARMENIA: Jailings of conscientious objectors resume</a>, 6 June 2013; 20 September 2012.</p> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-countries--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-countries.html.twig * field--expert--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-countries.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--node--field-countries.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-countries.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/148" hreflang="en">Armenia</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-theme--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-theme--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-theme.html.twig * field--expert--field-theme--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-theme.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-theme--story.html.twig * field--node--field-theme.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-theme.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/57" hreflang="en">Conscientious objection</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * links--node.html.twig x links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/links.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/links.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--comment--rss.html.twig * field--default--node--comment--story.html.twig * field--default--node--story.html.twig * field--default--node--comment.html.twig * field--default--comment--story.html.twig * field--default--story.html.twig * field--default--comment.html.twig * field--default.html.twig * field--theme-ds-field-default.html.twig x field--node--comment--story.html.twig * field--node--comment.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--comment.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/wri_main/templates/field/field--node--comment--story.html.twig' --> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=21981&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="2fDOdIdyEmISU7f9z8GXFJ9vhRUKIlKtZQaOlzZjoAc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/wri_main/templates/field/field--node--comment--story.html.twig' --> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-1col.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-entity-view.html.twig' --> Thu, 20 Jun 2013 17:22:28 +0000 HBrock 21981 at https://updates.wri-irg.org https://updates.wri-irg.org/en/story/2013/armenia-possible-end-jailing-cos#comments Amnesty International Public Statement on conscientious objection https://updates.wri-irg.org/en/story/2013/amnesty-international-public-statement-conscientious-objection <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'ds_entity_view' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-entity-view.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'ds_1col' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * ds-1col--node--21767.html.twig * ds-1col--node-story-rss.html.twig * ds-1col--node-story.html.twig * ds-1col--node-rss.html.twig * ds-1col--node.html.twig x ds-1col.html.twig x ds-1col.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-1col.html.twig' --> <div data-history-node-id="21767" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node-post-date---custom.html.twig * field--expert--node--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--node-post-date.html.twig * field--expert--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--node-post-date.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--node--node-post-date.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--node-post-date.html.twig * field--ds.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <time > 15 May 2013</time> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--body--rss.html.twig * field--default--node--body--story.html.twig * field--default--node--story.html.twig * field--default--node--body.html.twig * field--default--body--story.html.twig * field--default--story.html.twig * field--default--body.html.twig * field--default.html.twig * field--theme-ds-field-default.html.twig * field--node--body--story.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><h2>Right to conscientious objection still not guaranteed in Europe</h2> <p>Amnesty International, marking the International Conscientious Objectors Day, renews its call on all states to recognise the right to conscientious objection to military service. Nearly two years ago the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled that states must respect the right to conscientious objection as part of their obligation to respect the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, bringing European law in line with international human rights standards.</p> <p>Despite this, three European states, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey still do not provide for this right. It is high time that they do so.</p> <p>In a landmark judgment, the Court found in favour of Vahan Bayatyan, a Jehovah's Witness in Armenia who received a two and half year prison sentence in 2003 after he refused to perform military service on the grounds of conscientious objection.</p> <p>Since the case of Bayatyan vs Armenia in July 2011, a series of judgments against Turkey have followed including Erçep vs. Turkey in November 2011. Despite a clear requirement from the Court to recognise the right to conscientious objection, recent statements by Turkish government officials have indicated that they will not implement the judgment. According to government statements the right to conscientious objection will only be recognised when Turkey creates a professional army and ends the current system of conscription.</p> <p>Turkey has also failed to implement the 2006 judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Ülke vs. Turkey which required the authorities to change the law to prevent the repeated prosecution and imprisonment of conscientious objectors for their refusal to perform military service.</p> <p>Azerbaijan has failed to honour its commitment to free jailed conscientious objectors and introduce an alternative service within two years upon accession to the Council of Europe in 2000. It has also failed to implement the repeated recommendations of the United Nations Human Rights Committee to adopt a law exempting conscientious objectors from compulsory military service and providing for alternative civil service.</p> <p>While Azerbaijan’s Constitution provides for an alternative service, no appropriate legislation has been enacted to ensure the enforcement of the right to conscientious objection. Moreover other laws of the country subject those who refuse military service to a prison term of up to two years. Most recently, in September 2012 Ganja city court has sentenced Fakhraddin Mirzayev, a young Jehovah’s Witness to one year prison for refusal to serve in the military based on his declared believes.</p> <p>Azerbaijan authorities attempt to justify the delay in adopting a law on alternative service with reference to the unresolved conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia.</p> <p>The same argument of the unresolved conflict is used by Armenia, where young male Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to be imprisoned in ever larger numbers and for longer periods because their beliefs prohibit them from performing military service. As a Council of Europe member, Armenia has also undertaken the obligation to provide a genuinely civilian alternative to compulsory military service. However, Armenia’s alternative service is still under the control of the military, making it incompatible with the conscientiously-held beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses and others.</p> <p>In March 2012 Armenian government initiated the amendments in the law differentiate between alternative military and alternative labour services and to ensure that the latter will no longer be under the military control or involvement. However more than one year on, it is still unclear when the amendments will be enacted into law. </p> <p>Amnesty International is calling the governments of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia to honour their long overdue commitments to recognise the right to conscientious objection to military service and to ensure that any alternative to military service is genuinely civilian and non-punitive in length. Any persons imprisoned because of their refusal to perform military service for reasons of conscience or profound conviction must be released immediately. </p> <p>End/</p> <p>AI index: EUR 01/012/2013<br /> 14 May 2013</p> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--upload--rss.html.twig * field--default--node--upload--story.html.twig * field--default--node--story.html.twig * field--default--node--upload.html.twig * field--default--upload--story.html.twig * field--default--story.html.twig * field--default--upload.html.twig * field--default.html.twig * field--theme-ds-field-default.html.twig * field--node--upload--story.html.twig * field--node--upload.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--upload.html.twig * field--file.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-upload field--type-file field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Attached file</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'file_link' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/file/file-link.html.twig' --> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf icon-before"><span class="file-icon"><span class="icon glyphicon glyphicon-file text-primary" aria-hidden="true"></span></span><span class="file-link"><a href="https://updates.wri-irg.org/sites/default/files/public_files/Amnesty%20Statement%20Turkey%20Azerbaijan%20Armenia.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=48606" title="Open file in new window" target="_blank" data-toggle="tooltip" data-placement="bottom">Amnesty Statement Turkey Azerbaijan Armenia.pdf</a></span><span class="file-size">47.47 KB</span></span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/file/file-link.html.twig' --> </div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-programmes-projects--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-programmes-projects--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-programmes-projects.html.twig * field--expert--field-programmes-projects--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-programmes-projects.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-programmes-projects--story.html.twig * field--node--field-programmes-projects.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-programmes-projects.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/programmes/international-conscientious-objection-day" hreflang="en">International Conscientious Objection Day</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">Right to Refuse to Kill</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-countries--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-countries.html.twig * field--expert--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-countries.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--node--field-countries.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-countries.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/256" hreflang="en">Turkey</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/135" hreflang="en">Azerbaijan</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/148" hreflang="en">Armenia</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * links--node.html.twig x links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/links.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/links.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--comment--rss.html.twig * field--default--node--comment--story.html.twig * field--default--node--story.html.twig * field--default--node--comment.html.twig * field--default--comment--story.html.twig * field--default--story.html.twig * field--default--comment.html.twig * field--default.html.twig * field--theme-ds-field-default.html.twig x field--node--comment--story.html.twig * field--node--comment.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--comment.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/wri_main/templates/field/field--node--comment--story.html.twig' --> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=21767&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="nyJd-lOZh9Vv7VzmWBveXhHIDlcxQuJau9xAoZEzKa0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/wri_main/templates/field/field--node--comment--story.html.twig' --> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-1col.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-entity-view.html.twig' --> Wed, 15 May 2013 13:34:46 +0000 HBrock 21767 at https://updates.wri-irg.org https://updates.wri-irg.org/en/story/2013/amnesty-international-public-statement-conscientious-objection#comments Armenia: progress? Only for religious COs https://updates.wri-irg.org/en/story/2013/armenia-progress-only-religious-cos <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'ds_entity_view' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-entity-view.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'ds_1col' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * ds-1col--node--21645.html.twig * ds-1col--node-story-rss.html.twig * ds-1col--node-story.html.twig * ds-1col--node-rss.html.twig * ds-1col--node.html.twig x ds-1col.html.twig x ds-1col.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-1col.html.twig' --> <div data-history-node-id="21645" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node-post-date---custom.html.twig * field--expert--node--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--node-post-date.html.twig * field--expert--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--node-post-date.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--node--node-post-date.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--node-post-date.html.twig * field--ds.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <time > 23 Apr 2013</time> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--body--rss.html.twig * field--default--node--body--story.html.twig * field--default--node--story.html.twig * field--default--node--body.html.twig * field--default--body--story.html.twig * field--default--story.html.twig * field--default--body.html.twig * field--default.html.twig * field--theme-ds-field-default.html.twig * field--node--body--story.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>On 18 March, the Armenian parliament approved alternative service amendments in their first reading which would that mean that COs motivated by their religious beliefs – in practice in Armenia mainly Jehovah's Witnesses – will undertake alternative service of a reduced length.</p> <p>The right to conscientious objection was legally recognized with the Armenian Law on Alternative Service, which entered into force on 1 July 2004. However, in practice this law has not been applied. Conscientious objectors have often been imprisoned since they refuse to perform alternative service under the supervision of military personnel.</p> <p>Under the amendments that have passed, military personnel would no longer supervise work done as an alternative to military service. As the law now stands, alternative military service is allowed for 36 months and 42 for alternative work. The government bill has cut the terms to 30 and 36 months respectively.</p> <p>The Human Rights Committee has made clear that no discrimination is permitted between the religion or belief on which the objection is based (Human Rights Committee General Comment 22, para 11), but this bill only covers those whose religious beliefs or convictions are opposed to the bearing of arms.</p> <p>Armenia has been repeatedly encouraged to respect the rights of conscientious objectors by the international community: In November 2012, Armenia was fined by the European Court of Human Rights for violating the right to liberty and security of seventeen conscientious objectors who had been detained for absconding from substitute service in July 2011, the right to conscientious objection was affirmed by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Bayatyan v Armenia. Last August, two new conscientious objectors were imprisoned in Armenia - both Jehovah's Witnesses - after a break of a year. Over the past decade, 274 Jehovah’s Witnesses have been imprisoned for failing to fulfil alternative service obligations.</p> <p><em>Sources:</em> Eurasia.net, <a href="http://www.eurasianet.org/node/66709">Armenia: Will Alternative Service Reform Keep Jehovah’s Witnesses Out of Jail?</a>March 19, 2013; CO-Update, <a href="/node/20815">Armenia fined by European Court of Human Rights</a>, September 2012; Forum 18, <a href="http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1774">ARMENIA: Two new imprisonments as Strasbourg again fines government</a> 3 December 2012; CO-Update, <a href="/node/20459">Armenia: Changes to conscription likely as imprisonment of conscientious objectors resumes</a>, October 2012; Hetq online, <a href="http://hetq.am/eng/news/23935/">Armenia's Parliament Debates Alternative Military Service Bill </a>, 28 February 2013.</p> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-countries--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-countries.html.twig * field--expert--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-countries.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--node--field-countries.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-countries.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/148" hreflang="en">Armenia</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * links--node.html.twig x links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/links.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/links.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--comment--rss.html.twig * field--default--node--comment--story.html.twig * field--default--node--story.html.twig * field--default--node--comment.html.twig * field--default--comment--story.html.twig * field--default--story.html.twig * field--default--comment.html.twig * field--default.html.twig * field--theme-ds-field-default.html.twig x field--node--comment--story.html.twig * field--node--comment.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--comment.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/wri_main/templates/field/field--node--comment--story.html.twig' --> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=21645&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="B02BV-8VZC5ySBzg6SWR9VqkxjY5uxm4CJ6F5Aed1H0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/wri_main/templates/field/field--node--comment--story.html.twig' --> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-1col.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-entity-view.html.twig' --> Tue, 23 Apr 2013 12:59:34 +0000 HBrock 21645 at https://updates.wri-irg.org https://updates.wri-irg.org/en/story/2013/armenia-progress-only-religious-cos#comments Armenia fined by European Court of Human Rights https://updates.wri-irg.org/en/story/2012/armenia-fined-european-court-human-rights <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'ds_entity_view' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-entity-view.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'ds_1col' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * ds-1col--node--20815.html.twig * ds-1col--node-story-rss.html.twig * ds-1col--node-story.html.twig * ds-1col--node-rss.html.twig * ds-1col--node.html.twig x ds-1col.html.twig x ds-1col.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-1col.html.twig' --> <div data-history-node-id="20815" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node-post-date---custom.html.twig * field--expert--node--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--node-post-date.html.twig * field--expert--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--node-post-date.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--node--node-post-date.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--node-post-date.html.twig * field--ds.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <time > 14 Dec 2012</time> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--body--rss.html.twig * field--default--node--body--story.html.twig * field--default--node--story.html.twig * field--default--node--body.html.twig * field--default--body--story.html.twig * field--default--story.html.twig * field--default--body.html.twig * field--default.html.twig * field--theme-ds-field-default.html.twig * field--node--body--story.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>In a further reminder of Armenia's neglect of its international obligations towards conscientious objectors, in November Armenia was fined by the European Court of Human Rights for violating the right to liberty and security of seventeen conscientious objectors who had been detained for absconding from substitute service. The Court said their right to compensation for unlawful detention had been violated.</p> <p>In 2005, nineteen Jehovah's Witnesses who had initially accepted the government's alternative service changed their minds and left this service, after realising they were actually under military control. Criminal proceedings were brought against them and seventeen were held in detention (the other two were under curfew). After several months, some were released and had their charges dropped, but eleven were sentenced to prison terms from two to three years.</p> <p>The Court ruled in favour of seventeen of the nineteen, saying that these criminal prosecutions and detentions were illegal because in 2005, there was no law in Armenia that made it a crime to abandon alternative service. Importantly, for the first time in such cases, Armenia's European Court Judge Alvina Gyulumyan did not dissent from the judgement. The Armenian government will award each of the seventeen 6,000 Euros as compensation, and pay a further 10,000 Euros in costs for all the applicants.</p> <p>Unless either side appeal against the <a href="//hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-114785" target="”_blank”">ruling</a>, it will become final three months after it was handed down.</p> <p><em>Sources</em>: <a href="//www.jw.org/en/news/by-region/europe/armenia/ordered-to-pay-damages/" target="”_blank”">Jehovah's Witnesses</a>, 3 December 2012; <a href="//www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1774" target="”_blank”">Forum 18</a>, 3 December 2012.</p> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-countries--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-countries.html.twig * field--expert--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-countries.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--node--field-countries.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-countries.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/148" hreflang="en">Armenia</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * links--node.html.twig x links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/links.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/links.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--comment--rss.html.twig * field--default--node--comment--story.html.twig * field--default--node--story.html.twig * field--default--node--comment.html.twig * field--default--comment--story.html.twig * field--default--story.html.twig * field--default--comment.html.twig * field--default.html.twig * field--theme-ds-field-default.html.twig x field--node--comment--story.html.twig * field--node--comment.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--comment.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/wri_main/templates/field/field--node--comment--story.html.twig' --> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=20815&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="yHGVtx1l1USa-rwge1Cyz81oRs0IcfM8itz4c0hQduo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/wri_main/templates/field/field--node--comment--story.html.twig' --> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-1col.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-entity-view.html.twig' --> Fri, 14 Dec 2012 12:30:13 +0000 HBrock 20815 at https://updates.wri-irg.org https://updates.wri-irg.org/en/story/2012/armenia-fined-european-court-human-rights#comments Armenia: Changes to conscription likely as imprisonment of conscientious objectors resumes https://updates.wri-irg.org/en/story/2012/armenia-changes-conscription-likely-imprisonment-conscientious-objectors-resumes <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'ds_entity_view' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-entity-view.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'ds_1col' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * ds-1col--node--20459.html.twig * ds-1col--node-story-rss.html.twig * ds-1col--node-story.html.twig * ds-1col--node-rss.html.twig * ds-1col--node.html.twig x ds-1col.html.twig x ds-1col.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-1col.html.twig' --> <div data-history-node-id="20459" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node-post-date---custom.html.twig * field--expert--node--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--node-post-date.html.twig * field--expert--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--node-post-date.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--node-post-date--story.html.twig * field--node--node-post-date.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--node-post-date.html.twig * field--ds.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <time > 03 Oct 2012</time> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--body--rss.html.twig * field--default--node--body--story.html.twig * field--default--node--story.html.twig * field--default--node--body.html.twig * field--default--body--story.html.twig * field--default--story.html.twig * field--default--body.html.twig * field--default.html.twig * field--theme-ds-field-default.html.twig * field--node--body--story.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig x field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>In August two new conscientious objectors were imprisoned in Armenia - both Jehovah's Witnesses - after a break of a year. This brings the number of COs imprisoned in Armenia to 32. Additionally, 16 people (also Jehovah's Witnesses) have been given jail terms in 2012 but have yet to be incarcerated as their appeals are pending. There are a further 23 cases waiting to be heard.</p> <p>In a statement to <a href="//www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1745" target="”_blank”"> Forum 18</a> Jehovah's Witnesses complained that "the authorities, at least at the lower levels, seem to be completely ignoring the <a href="//wri-irg.org/node/13271" target="”_blank”"> Bayatyan ruling</a>".</p> <p>Deputy Justice Minister Ruben Melikyan dismissed the suggestion that the continuing sentencing and imprisonment of conscientious objectors violates Armenia's Council of Europe commitments and requirements under the Bayatyan and other ECtHR judgments, saying "Those cases were lodged back in 2003 and relate to the situation before Armenia's Alternative Service Law was adopted".</p> <p>Told that ECtHR judgments require states to take action to ensure that violations cannot recur and that the Council of Europe and the United Nations have repeatedly told Armenia that the 2003 Alternative Service Law (amended in 2004 and 2006) does not meet Armenia's international human rights obligations, Melikyan repeated his assertion that these judgements only cover the past. "We don't agree with colleagues [abroad] that the Bayatyan judgment covers today," he told Forum 18. "It is a different situation now."</p> <p>Also in August, Defence Minister Seyran Ohanyan announced a shift toward a professional army in Armenia: "because of our geographical conditions, we will take steps to expand the professional component and try to gradually increase the contractual service...We are just switching from the principle of mandatory term service into a principle of contractual recruitment services”.</p> <p>A spokesperson for the Defence Minister later suggested that one cause of this policy change is draft evasion, saying that "The current system has mechanisms inherited from soviet times and they don't prove their value...parents of soldiers do hundreds of new tricks every year which violate the principles of fair military conscription".</p> <p><em>Sources</em>: Forum 18 <a href="//www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1745" target="”_blank”"> Armenia: Jailings of conscientious objectors resume</a>, 20 September 2012; Mediamax, <a href="//www.mediamax.am/en/news/armypolice/5608/" target="”_blank”"> Fundamental changes to be made to Armenian conscription system</a>, 17 August 2012; Armenpress,<a href="//armenpress.am/eng/news/690285/armenian-defense-ministry-implements-professional-component-expansion-steps-in-the-armed-forces.html" target="”_blank”"> Armenian Defense Ministry implements professional component expansion steps in the armed forces</a>, 14 August 2012</p> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/field/field.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-countries--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-countries.html.twig * field--expert--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-countries.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-countries--story.html.twig * field--node--field-countries.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-countries.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/148" hreflang="en">Armenia</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--field-theme--rss.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-theme--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--story.html.twig * field--expert--node--field-theme.html.twig * field--expert--field-theme--story.html.twig * field--expert--story.html.twig * field--expert--field-theme.html.twig * field--expert.html.twig * field--ds-field-expert.html.twig * field--node--field-theme--story.html.twig * field--node--field-theme.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--field-theme.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/57" hreflang="en">Conscientious objection</a></span> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-field-expert.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * links--node.html.twig x links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/links.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/contrib/bootstrap/templates/system/links.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--comment--rss.html.twig * field--default--node--comment--story.html.twig * field--default--node--story.html.twig * field--default--node--comment.html.twig * field--default--comment--story.html.twig * field--default--story.html.twig * field--default--comment.html.twig * field--default.html.twig * field--theme-ds-field-default.html.twig x field--node--comment--story.html.twig * field--node--comment.html.twig * field--node--story.html.twig * field--comment.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/wri_main/templates/field/field--node--comment--story.html.twig' --> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=20459&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="hl5em4aGh5qUnJAW5OpODrMGb-jOKwPwZRk9dEwRc_M"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/wri_main/templates/field/field--node--comment--story.html.twig' --> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-1col.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'modules/contrib/ds/templates/ds-entity-view.html.twig' --> Wed, 03 Oct 2012 11:31:42 +0000 HBrock 20459 at https://updates.wri-irg.org https://updates.wri-irg.org/en/story/2012/armenia-changes-conscription-likely-imprisonment-conscientious-objectors-resumes#comments