Armenia avoids difficult issues at UN
Armenia's review at the Human Rights Committee showed that the government is not ready to address the most difficult issues, such as the impunity after the March 2008 events, the protection of LGBT people and the killing of soldiers at the army.
Wednesday, 18 July 2012, by Centre for Civil and Political Rights
The United Nations Human Rights Committee finalized the examination of the third periodic report of Armenia today, which took place on 16 and 17 July 2012.
In some areas of the dialogue between the Committee and the State delegation, the discussion was progressive. In others, the Committee expressed concern about the lack of information provided by the State. The delegation was often pressed by the Committee for more specific, statistically based answers to some of its questions. When faced with inquiries regarding the March 2008 post-election violence in Armenia, the delegation offered little explanation as to the lack of investigation into, and criminal accountability for, the resulting deaths.
The Committee otherwise focused its attention on issues of gender-based violence, trafficking in human beings, prison conditions, corruption in the judiciary, and discrimination. One committee member challenged the State to “put its money where its mouth is, and provide necessary funding to combat gender-based violence”. The Committee took particular issue with the State’s attitude toward members of Armenia’s LGBT community. The Committee received information that a government official previously announced that LGBT individuals were “a threat to national security.” Explanations from the State regarding the measures currently undertaken to protect the human rights of these vulnerable individuals were noticeably sparse.
Having received information from independent sources regarding the objectivity of Armenia’s judiciary, the Committee confronted the delegation with allegations that the judiciary is dependent on the executive branch, and that judges tend to have a bias toward the prosecution. The Committee was deeply concerned about reports from NGOs stating that judges operate under the notion that justice is negotiable, and can be bought for the right price.
Centre for Civil and Political Rights