The European Court of Human Rights ECHR) has decided not to review a petition filed by United Javakhk leader Vahagn Chakhalyan charging Georgian authorities with persecuting him for his political views.
The petition was signed by Vahagn Chakhalyan, his father Ruben, and brother Armen.
In the petition they argued that Georgian government policy has been to silence their activities in defending the rights of the Armenian community in Georgia.
Vahagn Chakhalyan was found guilty of possessing illegal weapons and fomenting a public disturbance and incarcerated in July 2008. He was released from jail in January 2013 after being pardoned under a general amnesty bill passed by the Georgian Parliament a month earlier.
His father and brother were also charged with having illegal arms but they were quickly freed after paying a bond.
In the petition, Vahagan Chakhalyan argued that his trial was replete with legal violations. For example, Chakhalyan says he was never afforded the freedom of selecting his own translator and that much of the case material was never translated into Armenian from Georgian and Russian. What was translated, according to Chakhalyan, was poorly done and useless. Chakhalyan also claimed that he was deprived of his right to select an attorney.
The ECHR found the petition unacceptable, arguing that it did not correspond to Articles 34 and 35 of the European Convention on Human Rights. (Individual Applications and Admissibility Criteria)
Vahagn Chakhalyan has stated that the ECHR’s decision is political.
“The judge was clearly biased and I do not rule out the possibility that Saakashvili, via his American sponsors, influenced the decision. Otherwise, why should it have taken so long just to reach a decision not to accept the petition,” Vahagn Chakhalyan told Hetq.