Abrahamyan forced H.A. to sign three statements containing false details of the
Following the events of 1 March 2008, accomplices of Mr. Abrahamyan regularly
visited H.A., and forced her to memorize witness statements containing false information
about Nikol Pashinyan, a leading member of the Armenian National Congress and
supporter of Levon Ter-Petrosyan, a candidate in the 2008 presidential elections. The
statements were to be made during Mr. Pashinyan’s upcoming trial. In March 2009,
accomplices of Mr. Abrahamyan held H.A. hostage for three weeks in a house in Arashat,
regularly beating and abusing her. Her brother, Garik, her partner, G.H., and two friends
freed her, and she fled to Georgia. Garik was later murdered for freeing her. 2 Accomplices
of Mr. Abrahamyan subsequently harassed G.H., after he told his manager about H.A.’s
situation. He was dismissed from his job and his home was raided by three men, who told
him to make sure that H.A. returned to Armenia or she would be hunted down due to her
protest and knowledge of the plot to produce false incriminating evidence against Mr.
Pashinyan concerning crimes allegedly committed in February and March 2008. Soon
afterwards,3 G.H. fled to Georgia, where he joined H.A. They then travelled together to the
Netherlands via Kiev. On 28 October 2010, the complainants entered the Netherlands and
applied for asylum.
On 1 June 2011, the Immigration and Naturalization Office issued a notice of
intention to reject the asylum applications on the basis that the complainants had provided
insufficient identification and travel documents. 4 The Office did not dispute the events of 1
March 2008, including H.A.’s forced administration of medical assistance, her beating and
her forced signature of three statements regarding the demonstration. However, it
challenged the credibility of both complainants’ statements regarding the subsequent
harassment at the hands of Mr. Abrahamyan’s accomplices, the identity of those
accomplices, and H.A.’s kidnapping and memorization under duress of witness statements.
On 18 July 2011, the complainants requested an individual investigation into, and a report
on, the evidence available. However, on 19 July 2011, the Office rejected both
complainants’ applications based on their insufficient identity and travel documents, and
consequently applied the strict credibility test to their accounts.
The complainants’ appeals against that decision were rejected by the Regional Court
of the Hague and the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State on 8 May
and 24 September 2012, respectively. In a summary judgment without reasoning, the
Administrative Jurisdiction Division declared that their appeals were ill-founded.
On 21 July 2014, the complainants filed a second asylum application based on a
medical report by the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights and Medical Research, in
which it was found that H.A.’s physical ailments and post-traumatic stress disorder were
consistent with her asylum application. The report concluded that it was likely that her
symptoms had impeded her ability to present complete, coherent and consistent statements
during her initial asylum interviews. 5 On 18 August 2014, the Immigration and
Naturalization Office determined that the Institute’s report was not a new fact and thus
could not alter the initial asylum application decision. They issued a notice of intention to
reject, also noting new information from the Belgian authorities that both complainants had
applied for visas for Italy in Yerevan on 27 September 2010 and had been granted single-
The statements included information that H.A. had witnessed Nikol Pashinyan and his accomplices
telling other demonstrators to use violence against the police, distributing weapons and ordering the
demonstrators to use those weapons.
No details provided.
No dates provided.
Under the domestic law of the Netherlands, failure to provide this information means that the
Immigration and Naturalization Office applies a strict credibility test to asylum applications, setting a
higher standard of proof for the complainants. The test was applied pursuant to section 31 (2) (a)–(f)
of the Aliens Act of 2000.
Pursuant to section 4:6 of the General Administrative Law Code, a new asylum application will only
be judged on its merits if the applicant adduces new facts and circumstances that could not have been