Armenia Has Problems in the Field of Human Rights
Armenia will present its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva on January 22, 2015. The UPR defines the human rights performance of Armenia.
“The UN UPR is not a most effective mechanism,” said Levon Barseghyan, President of the Asparez Journalists’ Club, Gyumri, adding that Armenian delegates fail to properly present several issues in the report.

“In 2010 we had a very hard year. There were numerous political prisoners; ten people were murdered on March 1. Afterwards in May, the report Armenians presented in Geneva seemed to avoid those issues and the political prisoners were specified as criminals,” he said.

The panelists at the Media Center initiated panel discussion entitled “International Obligations of Armenia in Human Rights: UPR” included: Sona Ayvazyan, Deputy Director of Transparency International Anti-corruption Center; Levon Barseghyan, President of Asparez Journalists’ Club, Gyumri; Hovhannes Madoyan, Advocacy Coordinator at “Real World, Real People” NGO; and Anahit Chilingaryan, Coordinator of HCA-Vanadzor Civil Initiatives and Advocacy Department.

With respect to Armenia’s obligation to adopt a domestic violence law, Sona Ayvazyan said that the Armenian Government appears to be resisting the law adoption. “The Government claims the problem to be solved through the laws in the Criminal Code but the Code can never regulate the issue of domestic violence. A separate law will not only help detect and reveal violence acts but also prevent,” said Ayvazyan.

“We have problems regarding judicial system: protection of human rights, independence of the court system, etc.” said Anahit Chilingaryan.

The panelists concluded that the Armenian society is mostly unfamiliar with the UN UPR mechanism and it is necessary to raise public awareness.

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