On 30 April 2016, Siranush Papyan, correspondent for the online media outlets “Lragir.am” and “1in.am” lodged a complaint with the General Jurisdiction Court of Kentron and Nork-Marash Administrative Districts of Yerevan against Vladimir Gasparyan, RA Chief of Police, requesting the Court to obligate him to publicly apologise. Two more claims were later added to this one: to hold the defenant liable for obstructing her lawful professional activity and for discriminating against her on the ground of sex.
The occasion for the complaint was the response of the Chief of Police to the journalist’s question in Tsitsernakaberd memorial. To Siranush Papyan’s observation that the police speaks regularly about reform but the society does not see it, Vladimir Gasparyan responded: ‘And I do not see a woman in you.’
The first court hearing was held on 8 November 2016. The hearing continued on 31 March, 17 May, 19 June, 15 November 2017, and finally on 29 November 2017 the Court decided to discontinue the case on the pretext that the Chief of Police used the expression in its figurative sense.
With the CPFE’ support Siranush Papyan appealed the judgment of the first-instance court to the Civil Court of Appeal. The appeal was declared admissible on 18 January 2018. The hearing was held on 19 April, and on 3 May the Appeal Court dismissed the journalist’s complaint.
On 3 August 2018, a cassation appeal was lodged with the Cassation Court. However, this complaint was held not to be admissible. In summary, having gone through all the 3 instances and having exhausted all of the domestic remedies, Siranush Papyan was unable to defend her rights. Having undertaken the task of the protection of the journalist’s interests, the CPFE prepared an application and other necessary documents to the European Court of Human Rights. On 29 December 2018, these documents were submitted to the ECtHR.