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Silence vs human rights violations in Armenia

12 December 2013 [13:35] - TODAY.AZ
By AzerNews

The Armenian ombudsman office decided to mark the December 10 - Human Rights Day with silence, because the office speaks of human rights all the year around.

The true assessment of the situation came from Armenian human rights defenders and parliamentarians, who said the level of human rights protection is rather poor, directly blaming the incumbent political system in the country.

On the background of the silence, this assessment clearly mirrors from the inside real situation in the field of human rights protection in Armenia.

"All rights that are included in the European Convention on Human Rights are violated in Armenia," Armenian human rights defenders said. "The right to fair elections and civil rights in voting, which is one of the most important tasks is also violated, and everything follows from that."

Human rights defenders noted that Armenians do not enjoy social protection. "The more money you have, the more patronage you enjoy from the national authorities and the more you're protected."

They also highlighted the efforts of authorities in the filed of the protection of human rights.

"We all witnessed how the authorities violated the rights of people to hold rallies and processions on December 2," they said. "Conduct of the country's authorities was more than surprising, as the right to freedom of expression was violated by groundless and violent means. There is nothing positive in the filed of protection of human rights in Armenia as the people do not represent any value to the country's authorities".

The international community is also critical over this crucially important component of society for democratic countries. The U.S. State Department and Human Rights Watch states regularly serious shortcomings in the filed of human rights protection in Armenia in their reports.

"The most important problems in the field of human rights in Armenia in 2012 were restrictions on the rights of citizens to change their government, corruption and lack of transparency in government, and the limited independence of the judiciary," the reports underlined.

Armenia not only violates all the rights of its citizens, but also more than one million Azerbaijanis who became refugees and IDPs as a result of armed aggression against Azerbaijan. Armenia continues its occupation policy against Azerbaijan by violating all international norms of protection human rights.

Moldova's ombudsman Aurelia Grigoriu, whose rights were violated in Armenia in summer 2013, said "human rights are not respected in this county".

"Armenia is putting its purely national interests above the canons of European values, thus breaking the democratic principles and human rights," she said. " Armenia should take effective measures to respect human rights, to implement the resolutions of the UN and to respect the territorial integrity of another member of the UN - Azerbaijan - in its recognized borders by the UN."

Recently the European Union called on the Armenian government to ensure human rights.

"We call on the Armenian government to ensure rights of representatives of civil society, human rights defenders, particularly women rights," Stefan Fuele, EU enlargement commissioner underscored after an annual session of the EU-Armenia Cooperation Council.

Despite protests and statements about violation of human rights, Armenia's authorities accepts neither criticism, nor appeals of international community. The situation is tough, and seems to remain tough if the Human Rights Defender -- Ombudsman prefers to keep silence on the day when he should speak.

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