Bring to Responsibility Judges that Patronize Hate Speech

hate-speech-is-not-free-speechMembers of ”New Generation” Humanitarian Ngo Arman Sahakyan and Grigor Gevorgyan have applied to Arpine Hovhannisyan, Minister of Jurisdiction asking to initiate disciplinary proceedings against judges of  the Civil Court of Appeal Narine Barseghyan, Levon Grigoryan and Margarita Hartenyan.


The reason is unlawful behaviour towards PM Hayk Babukyanyan, representative of ruling Republican Fraction. The latter, being the general director of ”Iravunk Media” Ltd., appealed the decision ruled against ”Iravunk” newspaper, a judgment which had already entered into legal force.


In his appeal Hayk Babukhanyan mentioned that he had been a party in this legal dispute and he had not been notified about the trial. This is a complete fabrication, as no complaint was brought against Babukhanyan, there was no judicial act against him and he was not subjected to any liability so that he could appeal the decision in the future.


“Babukhanyan has no legal interest in appealing the judicial act, which has no adverse effect on him. I gave explanation about his participation in the First Instance Court indicating that the complaint had not been filed against him, but against the company”, says lawyer Maro Khachaturyan who represents Arman Sahakyan’s and Grigor Gevorgyan’s interests in the court.


She notes that the Civil Court of Appeal could and had to state that Babukhanyan had not had the right to appeal the decision at the stage of discussing the admissibility of the appeal, but on the contrary, it recognized Babukhanyan as a respondent.


“I submitted a motion for the withdrawal of the presiding judges, as they were biased from the very beginning. My motion was rejected. They uphold Babukhanyan’s appeal instead, which was expected decision”, says Maro Khachaturyan.


Arman Sahakyan and Grigor Gevorgyan have already appealed the decision of the Civil Court of Appeal, but have no hope that the Court of Cassation will upheld their appeal taking into account recent developments concerning this case.


Let us remind that on 17th of May, 2014, the editor-in-chief of “Iravunk” newspaper Hovhannes Galajyan published an article on the newspaper’s website titled “They serve the interests of international homosexual lobbying: the blacklist of country’s and nation’s enemies.” In the article, the author presents a “blacklist” containing Facebook hyperlinks of 60 people, makes offensive statements addressed to those persons and calls for “Ordinary people to stop communicating with the lobbyist on the internet, as well as in real life, not to greet them, not to help them with any issues, not to engage in any business relations with them; state officials not to hire those lobbyists for public service jobs, and if they already work there, to fire them under any convenient pretext.”


For employers to do the same and for the co-owners of media companies, so those lobbyists won’t be given any chance to make an influence on public opinion and also for “the heads of educational institutions, so they won’t let the lobbyists to participate in the upbringing of younger generations.”


Blacklisted members of ”New Generation” Humanitarian NGO Arman Sahakyan and Girgor Gevorgyan sued ”Iravunk Media” Ltd. and author of the article Hovhannes Galajyan. They claim that above mentioned article contains discrimination calls, offend their honor and dignity and spatter their business reputation.
On May 14, 2015, judge Melkumyan ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, however he did not grant all of their demands. For instance, the representatives of New Generation requested that they each receive 3 million AMD ($7,000), as well as have the verdict published on their website. Instead, the Judge ordered that the representatives each be compensated 250,000 AMD ($526) and that the newspaper was not required to publish the verdict.


The judgment had already entered into legal force, but Hayk Babukhanyan managed to appeal it and the judgment was overturned.


”The violation is obvious, the examination of the final part of the decision is sufficient to prove that. Even without a detailed examination of the case, it is evident that Hayk Babukhanyan has no connection with the case. This fact is so obvious that even none-lawyers will have no doubt about it”, Arman Sahakyan and Grigor Gevorgyan wrote in the letter addressed to the Minister of Justice.


”I hope that the judged who patronize hate speech will be brought to responisbility, otherwise it turns out that the State itself patronize those people”, says Grigor Gevorgyan, member of ”New Generation” Humanitarian NGO.


”New Generation” Humanitarian NGO