Thursday, 16 January 2014

Aghdgomelashvili and Japaridze v Georgia - newly communicated complaint

The European Court of Human Rights has communicated the complaint in Aghdgomelashvili and Japaridze v Georgia, in which the applicants, who work for the organization 'Inclusive Foundation', complain about homophobic treatment by police officers. 

The complaint focuses on a raid by the police of the office of 'Inclusive Foundation' in Tbilisi, in which the police used homophobic language (such as calling the applicants 'sick persons' and 'perverts') and subjected the applicants to humiliating treatment (such as strip searching them).

Complaints

  1. Citing Articles 3 and 8 of the Convention, the applicants complain that the police officers subjected them to inhuman and degrading treatment and unlawfully interfered with their private lives during the search of the IF office on 15 December 2009 and that the relevant authorities failed to conduct an effective investigation of their alleged ill-treatment.
  2. The applicants reiterate their complaint about the absence of an effective investigation under Article 13 of the Convention, in conjunction with Articles 3 and 8.
  3. Lastly, the applicants complain, under Article 14 of the Convention and Article 1 of Protocol No. 12, that their ill-treatment, the interference with their private lives as well as the absence of an effective investigation into the police abuse was conditioned by the relevant authorities’ discriminatory attitudes towards the applicants’ actual or perceived sexual orientation and/or their LGBT-related activities.

Questions to the Parties

  1. Did the applicants suffer ill-treatment and interference with their right to respect for their private lives, in breach of Articles 3 and 8 of the Convention, during the police raid on the office of the Inclusive Foundation on 15 December 2009?
  2. Have the competent domestic authorities conducted an adequate investigation into the applicants’ allegations of ill-treatment, as required by the procedural obligation under Article 3 of the Convention?
  3. Did the applicants have effective domestic remedies at their disposal for their complaints under Articles 3 and 8 of the Convention concerning the alleged ill-treatment and interference with their right to respect for their private lives, as required by Article 13 of the Convention?
  4. Have the applicants suffered discrimination on the ground of their actual and/or perceived sexual orientation contrary to Article 14 of the Convention, this provision being read in conjunction with Articles 3 and 8, and/or Article 1 of Protocol No. 12?

An important complaint

This is an important complaint, because of its reliance on Article 3. It provides the Court with the opportunity to further evolve its Article 3 jurisprudence in respect of sexual orientation discrimination. At present, only one such judgment exists and it is vital that the Court better establish that homophobic treatment of this type is degrading and contrary to Article 3 of the Convention. 

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