ECtHR issues a call for Nagorno-Karabakh

Interim measures granted by ECtHR to prevent military action between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

On 28 September 2020, Armenia sent a Rule 39 (of the Rules of Court) request to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) for urgent interim measures to be granted due an ‘imminent risk of irreparable harm’, which was granted by the European Court of Human Rights yesterday, 29 September.

Armenia made the request in the context of recent military actions between Armenia and Azerbaijan that have been ongoing for three days in Nagorno-Karabakh, in which dozens have been killed.

The request was to ask the Azerbaijani Government ‘to cease the military attacks towards the civilian settlements along the entire line of contact of the armed forces of Armenia and Artsakh’, ‘to stop indiscriminate attacks’, and ‘to stop targeting civilian population, civilian objects and settlements’ (application no. 42521/20).

A Chamber of seven judges took the view that the current situation gives rise to a risk of serious violations of the European Convention of Human Rights.

The ECtHR calls upon both Armenia and Azerbaijan to refrain from taking measures ‘in particular military action’ which might entail breaches of the ECHR rights of the civilian population, and to comply with rights such as Articles 2 and 3 ECHR.

The Court has invited both countries to inform it of measures that have been taken to comply with these obligations.