Human Rights Watch.. referred to the condition  of human rights in Armenia

  • by Western Armenia, January 13, 2024 in Society

The annual report of "Human Rights Watch"  yesterday criticized the "selective response" and "transactional diplomacy" prevalent in the world to human rights problems. The report also referred to Armenia, writes  the Voice of America. 

According to a reputable international human rights organization, during  the Nagorno Karabakh conflict more than 100,000 Armenians were deported to  Armenia in 2023.

According to ..Human Rights Watch, "more than 100,000 Armenians, almost the entire Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh, left for Armenia in September [2023] after Azerbaijan's [undertaken] military operation against Armenian population. 

The report emphasizes that the Baku-initiated military operation was preceded by a months-long acute shortage of food, medicine, hygiene supplies and other essential goods in Nagorno-Karabakh due to Azerbaijan's suspension of transportation between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh from December 2022.

In the section of the report regarding Baku, the organization reminds: "Azerbaijan has refused to comply with the interim rulings of the [UN] International Court of Justice [of February and July 2023], which call on Azerbaijan to ensure the 'unimpeded movement of people, vehicles and cargo through the Lachin Corridor in both directions.'

It is also noted that after the military operations in  September 2023, Baku arrested "several leaders of the de facto authorities", accusing them in financing terrorism, in creating illegal armed groups and in crossing the border illegally.

The report, however, calls the December 2023 joint statement of the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders "historical" on steps to normalize relations and the exchange of servicemen.

Referring to developments in Armenia, "Human Rights Watch" pointed out a number of problems in the fields of police, freedom of speech, rights of women, persons with limited abilities and gender  minorities.

In Armenia, "the lack of effective accountability for the abuses of law enforcement agencies is an ongoing problem," writes the human rights organization, adding that the authorities often investigate such cases in the context of "abuse of official position," which provides for a lighter sentence.

According to the report, although defamation has been decriminalized in Armenia, journalists and the media continue to be targeted by politicians and private companies that drag the media into legal battles, threatening heavy financial fines.

The media advocacy group reported that 23 new defamation lawsuits were filed against the media between January and September [2023]," the report reads.

The publication also mentions the legislative amendment adopted by the Armenian Parliament, which gives additional opportunity to state agencies to "reject requests".

The report claims that representatives of the LGBT community in Armenia "continue to face discrimination, harassment and violence".

When speaking about the rights of persons with limited responsibilities  the report emphasizes that the country lacks comprehensive programs of community services for persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities.

Turning to domestic violence, the report notes a significant increase in domestic violence complaints registered in the first half of last year compared to the same period in 2022. 144 people were charged

At least 12 women were murdered between September 2022 and September 2023.

The report reminds that Armenia has only two shelters for victims of domestic violence, which together can shelter 24 women and their children.

Human Rights Watch cites the Women's Advocacy Center as saying that shelters are continually overcrowded and women's protection remains ineffective, including by the law enforcement system.

Overall, according to the human rights organization, the past year has been extremely difficult for the world, not only because of human rights violations and wars, but also because of "selective responses" and "transactional diplomacy" that undermine the protection of human rights.

Speaking to Voice of America, Human Rights Watch representative Lama Faki mentioned the Israel-Hamas conflict as an example of a "selective response" that "some countries are ready to justly criticize Hamas on October 7 [2023]. "horrible attacks by militants against Israel, but do not want to speak about the violence carried out by the Israeli military in Gaza."