Politics 13:28 14/03/2019 Armenia

U.S. State Department releases report on human rights practices of Armenia

The Unites States Department of State has released its annual report on human rights practices of Armenia for 2018, presenting the country’s system of government, as well as the outcomes of the December 9 snap parliamentary elections, that “were held with respect for fundamental freedoms and enjoyed broad public trust that should be preserved through further election reforms.” 

According to the report, human rights issues included torture; harsh and life threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; police violence against journalists; physical interference by security forces with freedom of assembly; restrictions on political participation; systemic government corruption; crimes involving violence or threats thereof targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons; inhuman and degrading treatment of persons with disabilities in institutions, including children; and worst forms of child labor.

The report highlights that the new government took steps to investigate and punish abuse, especially at high levels of government and law enforcement. On July 3, the Special Investigative Service (SIS) pressed charges against some former high-ranking officials in connection with their alleged roles in post-election clashes in 2008, when eight civilians and two police officers were killed.

The human rights report features 7 sections: Respect for the Integrity of the Person; Respect for Civil Liberties, Freedom to Participate in the Political Process; Corruption and Lack of Transparency in Government; Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Abuses of Human Rights; Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and Trafficking in Persons and Worker Rights, including several subsections.

The report says NGOs expressed concerns that the government did not promptly and accurately report incidents of deaths in the army. According to independent (and separate) monitoring of noncombat deaths by the NGOs Peace Dialogue and Helsinki Citizens Assembly Vanadzor, there were 24 noncombat deaths reported during the first half of the year, while the Ministry of Defense reported 31 such incidents for the same period.

The document states PM Nikol Pashinyan’s government gave new impetus to accountability for the events surrounding the aftermath of the 2008 presidential election, in which eight civilians and two police officers were killed. According to the government, in the period from July 3 until late fall, SIS launched several new criminal cases re-examining these events. The criminal cases entailed charges of overthrowing the constitutional order, abuse and exceeding official authority, torture, complicity in offering a bribe, official fraud, and falsification of evidence connected with the investigation of the 2008 post-election events. High profile suspects in those cases included former minister of defense Mikhail Harutyunyan, former deputy minister of defense Yuri Khachaturov, former chief of presidential staff Armen Gevorgyan, and former president Robert Kocharyan. Kocharyan was charged on July 27 with Article 300.1 of the criminal code, overthrowing the constitutional order, in connection with the March 1 2008 protests. On August 13, the court of appeals released him from pretrial detention. After a Court of Cassation determination that presidential immunity did not apply to his charges, he was arrested again on December 7. The investigations into the cases were ongoing at year’s end.

It reminds that concluding a visit from September 15-20, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic noted the steps taken by the government to finally establish responsibility for the 10 deaths, but stressed that “this should be done carefully and in strict adherence to the principles of rule of law, judicial independence, transparency and guarantees of fair trial, in order to dispel any accusations of alleged revenge politics or selective justice.”

“Separatists, with Armenia’s support, continued to control most of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding Azerbaijani territories. The final status of Nagorno-Karabakh remained the subject of international mediation by the OSCE Minsk Group, cochaired by France, Russia, and the United States. Violence along the Line of Contact continued, although at lower levels starting in October, after the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders met in Dushanbe. Recurrent shooting and shelling caused casualties and injuries among military and civilians. Following the April 2016 outbreak in violence, the sides to the conflict submitted complaints to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) accusing each other of committing atrocities during that time. The cases remained pending with the ECHR,” reads the Karabakh part of the report.

Reflecting on Armenia’s judiciary, the report states that although citizens had access to courts to file lawsuits seeking damages for alleged human rights violations, the courts were widely perceived as ‘corrupt’

The section on freedom of expression, including for the press, says that after the “velvet revolution” the media environment became more free as some outlets began to step away from self-censorship; however, some still refrained from critical comments of the new government not to appear “counterrevolutionary.”

The freedom of expression subsection says that individuals were free to criticize the government in private and online without fear of arrest. On June 18, however, PM Pashinyan posted on Facebook a comment denouncing as “antistate” propaganda carried by some television stations. While he did not mention any specific channels, according to some media watchdogs, the statement had a chilling effect on the media climate.

“Broadcast media, particularly public television, remained one of the primary sources of news and information for the majority of the population. According to some media watchdogs, public television continued to present news from a progovernment standpoint, even after the “velvet revolution,” replacing one government perspective with the other.

“Social media users freely expressed opinions about the new government and former authorities on various social media platforms. Use of fake social media accounts and attempts to manipulate the media, however, increased dramatically after the “velvet revolution.” The country’s few independent media outlets, mostly online, were not self-sustainable and survived through international donations, with limited or no revenues from advertising,” reads the report. 



Source Panorama.am
Share |
Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:

Newsfeed

20:30
Snowden says he married his girlfriend Lindsay Mills in Russia - The Guardian
Former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, who was granted asylum in Russia after exposing mass surveillance...
20:10
Armenian State Symphony Orchestra to perform film scores at Dubai Opera
The Armenian State Symphony Orchestra (led by Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Sergey Smbatyan) will perform film music at Dubai Opera...
19:34
The Chinese way of reducing poverty among mothers
The question how to help create jobs for poverty-stricken mothers remains an issue throughout the world. In China a solution seems was found....
19:09
My Handmade Armenia Crafts Festival to open in Yerevan
On September 28-29, My Handmade Armenia Crafts Festival will visit the Cafesjian Sculpture Garden to represent handmade goods made by artisans....
18:25
Polish tourists survive bear attack on Mount Aragats
Two tourists from Poland have reportedly been attacked by a bear on Mount Aragats in Armenia, the ministry of emergency situations reported,...
18:21
Families with no fixed place of residence to benefit from social assistance programs
The  Cabinet of ministers is set to discuss a legislative initiative aimed at improving the social condition of extremely poor families in...
17:22
Armenian design studio collects six prizes at Pentawards 2019 competition
Yerevan-based packaging design studio “Backbone Branding” has won six prizes at the 2019 Pentawards 2019 – the 13th edition of...
16:38
New sorting bins for plastic waste installed in Yerevan
Four sorting bins for plastic waste were installed in Yerevan on Friday, Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Development (ISSD) reported,...
16:08
Car race in support of Amulsar heading to Yerevan from Jermuk
A car race in support of Amulsar kicked off from Jermuk to Yerevan on Saturday. The organizers are Jermuk residents and environmentalists, who...
14:37
Over 95 ceasefire violations reported at Artsakh borderline during the past week
The Azerbaijani armed forces violated the ceasefire along the Artsakh-Azerbaijan Line of Contact over 95 times in the past week, the...
14:09
Health hazards of Amulsar mine operation still not addressed – Nazeli Vardanyan
The license of Amulsar mine operation based on the environmental impact assessment and the audit conclusion has been granted in violation of...
13:23
Saudi Arabia oil facilities ablaze after drone strikes
Drone attacks have set alight two major oil facilities run by the state-owned company Aramco in Saudi Arabia, state media say, according to the...
13:21
Pashinyan sends birthday greetings to Dmitry Medvedev
Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan extended today birthday greetings to Russia’s Premier Dmitry Medvedev, the press service at the...
11:34
Aronian claims victory in round two of World Cup 2019
Armenian grandmaster Levon Aronian claimed victory on Friday against Parham Maghsudlu of Iran in the first game of the second round of World Cup...
10:58
Goran Bregovich to perform in Yerevan
Famous musician and songwriter Goran Bregovich will perform in Yerevan in the scope of his “Three Letters from Sarajevo”...
10:33
Avedisian School in Yerevan receives first in Armenia LEED Certification and Earth Designation
The Khoren and Shooshanig Avedisian School and Community Center, located in the Malatia-Sebastia District of Yerevan, Armenia has been awarded a...
20:26
19 people injured in road accidents over the past day in Armenia
According to the operations reports of Police of Armenia, 54 cases of crime were detected by police in the territory of the republic from...
20:04
Number of homeless people grows in Armenia
As of September 2019, around 100 people live in the homeless shelter of the Armenian-Danish Kofoed Charitable Foundation, Director at the...
19:07
FM Mnatsakanyan receives the newly appointed Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia
Armenian FM Zohrab Mnatsakanyan received on Friday newly appointed Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin on the...
18:12
Upper Lars checkpoint to close for maintenance
Upper Lars checkpoint on the Russian-Georgian border will temporary stop operation today from 22:00 to 06:00, Armenia’s State revenue...
18:05
Vacated parliamentary mandate granted to Artur Manukyan
Central Electoral Commission of Armenia gave on Friday a vacated parliamentary mandate of the ruling My Step faction Edgar Arakelyan to Artur...
17:39
Artsakh president holds working consultation on state mid-term expenditure
Artsakh Republic President Bako Sahakyan convened on Friday a working consultation on the 2020-2022 state mid-term expenditure program. As...
16:11
Foreign Ministry: Armenia supports one-China principle
Armenia supports the principle of one-Chin and has no and will not establish relations with Taiwan, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan...
15:51
Armenian boy wins rapid event of U14 World Chess C'ship
The Spanish city of Salobrena is hosting the FIDE World Youth Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships from 10 to 14 September. Armenian chess...
15:19
5 opposition newspaper staff released from Turkish prison
Turkey’s state-run news agency says five jailed journalists and staff members of the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper have been freed on...
15:11
Armenian Foreign Ministry spox hails democratic elections in Artsakh
Since 1991, Artsakh has hosted elections regularly as an exercise of its people’ rights, Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna...
14:37
Converse Bank lists bonds on Armenia securities exchange
On September 12 the AMX opening bell rang for Converse Bank’s bonds listed (AMCOVSB28ER6 and AMCOVSB29ER4) on the Abond list of the...
14:22
Mkhitaryan makes Armenia 50th country having player in Roma
AS Roma, which Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan joined most recently on a season-long loan deal, is preparing to face Sassuolo on Sunday,...
13:57
Spox: Armenian, Azerbaijani FMs agreed to a meeting
Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan is set to pay an official visit to Lithuania on 16-17 September to meet with the country’s...
13:19
Armenia’s Byurakan Observatory hosts int'l conference on active galaxies and quasars
Armenia’s Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory hosted an international conference on Active Galaxies and Quasars dedicated to Prof. Marat...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}