Armenia: ”More efforts are needed to strengthen human rights protection”

Strasbourg, 09.05.2011 – “Some significant steps have been taken to address the human rights consequences of the March 2008 events, but more needs to be done to promote reconciliation in society and reinforce public trust towards the authorities”, said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, releasing today a report on his visit to Armenia carried out in January 2011. The report focuses on human rights issues related to the March 2008 events, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association, and the human rights situation in the army.

The Commissioner considers that the use of force on 1-2 March 2008 was excessive and that the investigation into the ten deaths has not been effective. “None of the perpetrators have been identified to date. Command responsibility of senior officials within the police and the security services appears not to have been seriously considered. The Armenian authorities should pursue vigorously these investigations and bring all those responsible to account. The families of the ten victims should receive adequate compensation for the loss of their relatives and should be fully associated to and informed about the investigation.” The Commissioner welcomes the recent instruction from President Sargsyan with regard to the investigation into the death cases and hopes that this will be translated into concrete progress in identifying and punishing those responsible.

While welcoming the release of many of those deprived of their liberty in connection to the March 2008 events, three of whom were released after his visit, the Commissioner continues to have serious concerns about the situation of remaining imprisoned opposition activists and urges the Armenian authorities to release them.

The report also pays particular attention to freedom of expression, including freedom and diversity of the media. While welcoming the decriminalisation of libel and insult through last year’s amendments to the Criminal Code, the Commissioner remains concerned about the increase of cases brought against media outlets on the basis of amendments to the Civil Code. He stresses that unreasonably high fines in civil cases relating to media should be avoided. At the same time, ethical standards for journalism and a system of self-regulation should be encouraged.

Expressing alarm over the attacks and pressure on journalists that have taken place in the past two years, the Commissioner calls upon the country’s leadership to firmly condemn such incidents and to take measures to prevent their recurrence.

The implementation in practice of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly in Armenia also remains a source of concern. “Unlawful and disproportionate impediments on peaceful assemblies, such as intimidation and arrest of participants, disruption of transportation means and blanket prohibitions against assemblies in certain places, should be immediately discontinued. It is crucial that the behaviour and actions of police forces during assemblies abide by human rights standards.”

Commissioner Hammarberg therefore encourages the Armenian authorities to review the national legal framework and practice related to freedom of expression, freedom of the media and freedom of assembly in order to bring it in compliance with human rights standards.

The report also addresses the issue of non-combat deaths, torture and ill treatment which have occurred in the Armenian army and have featured prominently in the country’s public debate. “The Armenian authorities should intensify their efforts to eliminate such grave cases of abuse in the military and to put an end to the impunity of perpetrators and responsible commanders.”

There is also an urgent need to review the Law on Alternative Service and to create a genuinely civilian service option, whose length should not be perceived as punitive, deterrent or discriminatory. Finally, the Commissioner strongly recommends releasing all conscientious objectors who are in prison because of non-performance of military service.

The response of the authorities of Armenia is attached to the report.

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One thought on “Armenia: ”More efforts are needed to strengthen human rights protection”

  1. the gor-gors still neglect March 1st
    the gor-gors still deny March 1st as: GENOCIDE
    the anca still has NOT officially recognized March 1st, nor will it recognized March 1st as an act of GENOCIDE on 20 Yerevancis

    I guess genocide doesnt apply to Hayastancis ha
    apparently, we’re not allowed to claim genocide. thats a monopoly for the gor-gors so they can make their BIG money and profit, to live in their $2M homes, drive their $100k benz & bmw’s, spend $5k on shopping, $10K VEGAS- European-Miami beach vacations, all while NOT working for a living and/or having a care or worry in the world, sitting back in their comfy warm chairs and the money just POURS into their bank accounts. hmmm, kind of like what arabs & jews do, coincidence? nah, I dont think so. I dont believe in coincidence, its just an act of illusion

    funny how the gor-gors are so quick to gather, plan, organize for their genocide remembrance, for their so-called sufferings, for their selfish-selves, for their unwinable revenge war on the turqs, but do they acknowledge and protest the murder of 1: Zaruhi Petrosyan? no, instead they sign an online petition and comment about how all Hayastanci men are womanizers and wife-beaters. as if g0r-gors are any such innocents. do they acknowledge and protest the attacks and murders on Yerevancis? do they acknowledge and protest the treatment of the every day Hayastani citizens & journalists trying to expose corruption, hate, discrimination, etc etc…do they do anything to aid us in our fights & just causes to get our revenge, to get our acknowledgment, to get our human rights??

    their lack of actions and silence towards it all are louder than any words they could ever write-type-speak. they can come here or there or anywhere I expose them and defend themselves all they want, I can prove them wrong every time. just like how I prove time & time again that they are anti-Armenites, anti-Hayutyan, anti-Hayastanci

    oh oh wait, I love their defense answer: “WE BUILT HAYASTAN, IF ITS NOT FOR US GOR-GORS YOU DIRTY FILTHY STANCIS WOULDN’T HAVE A BUCKET TO PISS IN”

    really gor-gors? you built Hayastan? you own all the buildings in Hayastan? the roads? the schools? the clinics? the this? the that? you poured blood, sweat, tears, and death into building Yerevan and other towns? or is it more like the ruskie -Armyanski mafiya built and owns half and Cafesjyan and his cronies built and own the other half. who owns The Cascade? the gor-gors? the anca? the ayf? or Cafesjyan who has ZERO to little ties to you gor-gors and dumps alot of his money & effort into Hayastan, rather than giving it all to you g0r-gors knowing that you’ll use it to live the A-LIST LUXURY CELEBRITY LIFESTYLE. who built Northern Ave? the g0r-gors??? or the robik-serjik-dodi-levon and the rest of the rat pack gangsters? you g0r-gors think because you build 1 lousy stinking north-south road in Artsakh that it gives you all this fame and credibility to lay claim that: WE BUILT HAYASTAN and ITS OURS. ok ara, if its yours then come and claim it, come and take it away from us stancis, invade Hayastan and take it back. ohhhh you dont dare do such a thing. hmmm, I wonder why

    hey gor-gors before you continue yelling-kicking-screaming like babies about your Apr 24th: RECOGNIZE March 1st 2008 GENOCIDE and GENOCIDE of 1: Zaruhi Petrosyan by the hands of her bakveci lakot shun husband and any/all other stancis who have been murdered by the evil mafiatic tyrannical regime in last 20 years. REGOGNIZE the deaths soldiers who defend Arcax on the front lines and are being humiliated by our own mafiya regime with stupid hazing and childish violent stunts. RECOGNIZE the genocide of Armenian women & children thru trafficking & assimilation. RECOGNIZE all the problems and sufferings of Hayastan last 20 years. no, you dont dare do it ha? because you dont want to take away the SPOT light put on yourselves which you stole from Hayastan

    you know whats even more interesting and insulting is how the TURQS recognize our problems in Hayastan before the gor-gors do. I mean that has to show how selfish and hateful gor-gors are towards us. I read turkish comments all the time Armenian youtube videos bout how Hayastan is a piss poor country this and has many problems that and we beat our wives and childrens and kill our own soldiers, etc etc…. of course they use these problems of ours as a way to knock down and insult us, but AT LEAST OUR EXTERNAL ENEMIES RECOGNIZE OUR PROBLEMS, unlike the INTERNAL ENEMY of gor-gors who continue to PISS on us basically inline with the turks. I think I’ll send the anca a turkish flag, I think they will enjoy it and will suit them very well. hey you never know maybe they’ll take pride in their hate & discrimination towards us and raise the flag above their building there in DC, what do you all think?

    its nice to know European human rights and advocacy orgs properly & OFFICIALLY ON RECORD recognize March 1st…yep, thank you to European orgs for officially recognizing our March 1st, maybe you can send a message to the gor-gors to follow suit

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