Law 13:31 09/12/2023 Armenia

Whistleblowers are not 'snitchers', Armenian lawyer insists

The event dedicated to the International Anti-Corruption Day organized within the framework of the National Awareness Campaign on the Whistleblowing System, in cooperation of Armenia's Ministry of Justice, the Armenian Lawyers’ Association NGO (ALA), the CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition of Armenia and the Constructive Dialogue Network of Armenian CSOs took place in Yerevan on Friday. The event was organized in the scope of the “Multifaceted Whistle-Blowing Promotion in Armenia” project implemented by the ALA with the support of the European Union and the Open Government Partnership Europe Foundation.

Mr. Karen Zadoyan, the President of the Armenian Lawyers’ Association, mentioned that after the April war, he defined that corruption took the form of blood, and after that, practical anti-corruption reforms began. Speaking about the whistleblowing system, he mentioned that the whistleblowing system is good, but the effectiveness of the unified whistleblowing platform operated by the Armenian Prosecutor’s Office is low. According to the speaker, public perceptions about the whistleblowing system and whistleblowers should be changed. Stereotypes that have been rooted in the society since the Soviet years prevent the development of the whistleblowing system, the ALA reported.

“Our main message is that whistleblowers are not ‘snitchers’. They are decent, honest and law-abiding citizens who love their country. This image should be presented in public. The perceptions of the government officials should also change. Whistleblowers must realize the importance of their mission. They should be advocated and encouraged to report corruption crimes,” Karen Zadoyan said.

Mr. Karen Karapetyan, the Deputy Minister of Justice, thanked for organizing the event. He mentioned that one of the cornerstone directions of the Government is the fight against corruption, the formation and rooting of the idea of ​​zero tolerance towards it in the society.

“The public’s support in the fight against corruption should not be ideological only. The government expects that the society should show a proactive approach to this process, and one of those mechanisms is the public whistleblowing system, which has long proven its importance in modern democratic states,” he said.

Mr. Jan Plesinger, Head of the Political, Press and Information Section of the European Union to Armenia, conveyed his greetings to the attendees on behalf of the EU Ambassador in Armenia. He noted that the event is held at the right time, because 9 December is the day of fight against corruption and such campaigns are very important.

“I would like to emphasize Armenia’s progress in the fight against corruption. It was reflected in many indicators. I want to welcome the commitment of the Armenian Government to that goal and the steps that were taken as a result of GRECO’s consultations,” Jan Plesinger said, noting that he was born in post-Soviet Czechoslovakia and the experience of his country is similar to Armenia’s experience.

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