Advocates Harassment

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Human rights defenders (HRDs) are people of all genders, ages and identities acting peacefully in defence of human rights. They are individuals and groups challenging all discriminations, working to advance fundamental rights and create more just and inclusive societies.

Today, conflict and fear are increasingly used to spread violence, division and silence civil society throughout the world. Countries are turning their backs on solidarity and justice and the human rights defenders are increasingly the targets of attacks, harassment, intimidation, surveillance, censorship, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances and even killings – just for standing up for what is right.

In light of the extent of the current backlash facing HRDs, the Summit will provide an international platform for HRDs voices to be heard, facilitate HRDs efforts to strategise and create new actions, and promote HRDs’ call to the international community and its wide range of stakeholders to significantly increase its commitments to protect and promote HRDs’ work around the world.

Join the global call to protect 
Human Rights Defenders
everywhere

https://hrdworldsummit.org/

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The court rejected Vahe Grigoryan's suit

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Judge Ruben Vardazaryan, judge of the Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction, today rejected the lawsuit of Vahe Grigoryan against the Chamber of Advocates.

Advocate Vahe Grigoryan demanded that the court should invalidate the decisions of the Chamber's chairman and the Board. He was found guilty of violating the Advocate Code of Conduct. Not until 19.01.2018, Vahe Grigoryan filed a lawsuit against the RA Chamber of Advocates with a request to invalidate the decision No. 127-A /KG-17027 of the RA Chamber of Advocates of 10.05.2017, and that of the Board of 16.11.2017, No. KG/101-A. The ground for his being recognized guilty was the advocate Gevorg Gevorgyan's application.

The story started after an article had been published in “Attorney at Law” group on Facebook by advocate Tigran Atanesyan, which was followed by a comment of the plaintiff, Vahe Grigoryan.

“It seems to me that you [addressing to Mr. T. Atanesyan] should give lessons on “How the Chamber of Advocates and people who represent it should not be" at the School of Advocates and, as educational materials, distribute to the attendees those letters you have received related to the cases and got based on the applications. And the author who has written the paragraph preceding part two of this letter, who thought of writing such a response to the advocate, in my opinion, suffers from a hypothetical illness, a disease that has sharply slowed down or completely stopped the person's intellectual development as a result of certain hormonal deficiencies. Therefore, I will not use hurtful words on his address, understanding that it is a result of physical dysfunction”, the comment read.  

Let us remind you that the decision on this case should have been published on August 28, but judge Ruben Vardazaryan decided to resume the trial. The judge found that there was a need for investigating additional evidence. The plaintiff and the respondent were not present ոհեն տhe judgment was published․

By the way, video filming was banned during the whole trial.

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Even the judge's letter did not help to hold the hearing of the Chamber of Advocates publicly.

The Board was discussing the issue of subjection to disciplinary sanctions against advocates Arayik Papikyan, Mushegh Shushanyan and Tigran Hayrapetyan. The judge of the trial of “Sasna Tsrer”, Artush Gabrielyan appealed to the Chamber.

Arayik Papikyan presented a note in the disciplinary hearing, according to which the judge of the Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction Arshak Vardanyan, did not object that the hearing of the disciplinary sanction could be held publicly, although the lawsuits had not been held within his presiding trials; yet he gave his agreement on holding the Board’s hearing publicly.

Arayik Papikyan mentioned that he appealed to the Yerevan court of general jurisdiction rather than to Arshak Vardanyan. He recalled that a member of the Board, Sedrak Asatryan had stated before that it was an elementary knowledge to know that the applicant for disciplinary proceedings was the court, but not the judge. "The true subject is the court, not the judge. I appealed to the court, but I received a response from the court, signed by Arshak Vardanyan," said Arayik Papikyan.

By the way, Karen Sardaryan, chairing person of the hearing, stated that the word "publicly" did not mean to make its video filming.

Arayik Papikyan left the room as no video filming was permitted. After that, the Board of the Chamber decided to subject Arayik Papikyan, Mushegh Shushanyan and Tigran Hayrapetyan to reprimand.

"The court has made an illegal decision. Before I was subjected to sanctions, two advocates had already left the hearing room. The judge had not done anything when I left the room. Then he went to a consultation room and made a decision for the three advocates. The judge had to go to the consulting room to make a decision. One left, the hearing was continued, the second left, the hearing continued again, and when I left, he decided to go to the consultation room," recalled Arayik Papikyan.

According to him, Chairman of the Chamber of Advocates Ara Zohrabyan should have seen that there were no grounds for initiating a disciplinary law suit. And at the disciplinary hearing the Board illegally deprived A. Papikyan of the right to give explanations.

"There is a need to make changes in their work; we must just open the dead logic through “autopsy” and diagnose the disease correctly," said Arayik Papikyan.

According to him, a month ago the Board told him that the court was the subject, and now they said that the court was not the subject, but the subject was the judge. "What revolutions took place in the minds of Board members a month later, I cannot say."

The disciplinary decision will be appealed in court. "Let them be prepared to pass through upcoming trials. The Board has adopted a decision that all those advocates who do not share the same opinion with them and have their own opinions have definitely to be punished. The behavior of the Board and the behavior of the management of the Chamber testify one thing: if the opinion does not coincide with their position, then by the chairman's definition we are oppositionists. Why we are oppositionists, probably because of the simple reason that we do not obey their rules," concluded Arayik Papikyan.

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The claim filed by Vahe Grigoryan, against the decision of the Chamber of Advocates, resumed today at the Kentron Center of the Court of General Jurisdiction of Yerevan. Yet adecision on this claim was expected to be made on the 28th of August, however Judge Ruben Vardazaryan decided to restart the trial. The judge considers that there is a need to investigate additional evidence.

Advocate Vahe Grigoryan demanded the court to reverse the decisions of the Chamber's chairman and Board. Subsequently, he was found guilty of violating the Code of Advocates' Behavior on the grounds of advocate Gevor Gevorgyan’s application to the court.

The case was initiated after an article had been published on the Facebook «Attorney at Law» group, by advocate Tigran Atanesyan, which was followed with a comment by plaintiff Vahe Grigoryan.

The latter wrote the following: "I think that you [addressing to Mr. T. Atanesyan] should take up lessons in the School of Advocates on “How the Chamber of Advocates and its representatives should not be", and as educational materials, distribute to the attendees the letters you have received related to the cases you undertake and those you have got concerning the applications. And the author who has written the paragraph preceding part 2 of this letter, who thought of writing such an answer to the advocate, in my opinion, suffers from a hypothetical illness, a disease that has sharply slowed down or completely stopped the person's intellectual development as a result of certain hormonal deficiencies. Therefore, I will not use hurtful words on his address, understanding that it is a result of a physical dysfunction”.   

Vahe Grigoryan and his representative did not attend today's trial. The judge questioned the representatives of the Chamber of Advocates, particularly whether Gevorg Gevorgyan is an advocate or a representative of the staff of the Chamber, as well as if there are advocates who are included in the Facebook "Attorney at Law" group or other related individuals.

Artashes Khalatyan, a representative of the Chamber, mentioned that Gevorg Gevorgyan is an advocate, while the other representative, Emil Amirkhanyan, added that within the Facebook group there may have also been journalists covering legal issues.

 Judge Ruben Vardazaryan considers that the trial is complete. The decision will be announced on October 30.

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The claim filed by Vahe Grigoryan, against the decision of the Chamber of Advocates, resumed today at the Kentron Center of the Court of General Jurisdiction of Yerevan. Yet adecision on this claim was expected to be made on the 28th of August, however Judge Ruben Vardazaryan decided to restart the trial. The judge considers that there is a need to investigate additional evidence.

Advocate Vahe Grigoryan demanded the court to reverse the decisions of the Chamber's chairman and Board. Subsequently, he was found guilty of violating the Code of Advocates' Behavior on the grounds of advocate Gevor Gevorgyan’s application to the court.

The case was initiated after an article had been published on the Facebook «Attorney at Law» group, by advocate Tigran Atanesyan, which was followed with a comment by plaintiff Vahe Grigoryan.

The latter wrote the following: "I think that you [addressing to Mr. T. Atanesyan] should take up lessons in the School of Advocates on “How the Chamber of Advocates and its representatives should not be", and as educational materials, distribute to the attendees the letters you have received related to the cases you undertake and those you have got concerning the applications. And the author who has written the paragraph preceding part 2 of this letter, who thought of writing such an answer to the advocate, in my opinion, suffers from a hypothetical illness, a disease that has sharply slowed down or completely stopped the person's intellectual development as a result of certain hormonal deficiencies. Therefore, I will not use hurtful words on his address, understanding that it is a result of a physical dysfunction”.   

Vahe Grigoryan and his representative did not attend today's trial. The judge questioned the representatives of the Chamber of Advocates, particularly whether Gevorg Gevorgyan is an advocate or a representative of the staff of the Chamber, as well as if there are advocates who are included in the Facebook "Attorney at Law" group or other related individuals.

Artashes Khalatyan, a representative of the Chamber, mentioned that Gevorg Gevorgyan is an advocate, while the other representative, Emil Amirkhanyan, added that within the Facebook group there may have also been journalists covering legal issues.

 Judge Ruben Vardazaryan considers that the trial is complete. The decision will be announced on October 30.

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