Armenia reviewed by the UPR: expected political tensions barely disrupt review
Thursday, 13 May 2010 13:53

On 6 May 2010 the Working Group on the UPR reviewed the situation of human rights in Armenia. Armenia was represented by a large delegation headed by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Arman Kirakossian. Mr Kirakossian noted that Armenia has submitted all overdue reports to the treaty bodies, has extended invitations to all special procedures, and signed the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and its optional protocol, and the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The State report referred to and mention was made during the dialogue of the human rights situation in Nagorny Karabakh, which led Azerbaijan to raise points of order stating that Nagorny Karabakh is not part of Armenia and should therefore not be discussed. During the interactive dialogue States which submitted advanced questions thanked Armenia for responding in writing.States sumbitting advance written questions: Argentina, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom. The main issues raised during the interactive dialogue were:

  • Attacks on human rights defenders and journalists, especially during the presidential elections in 2008 and the lack of prosecution of these crimes
  • Corruption in the law enforcement bodies and the judiciary, and unlawful pressure on and intimidation of judges
  • Lack of compliance of penitentiary and detention centres with international standards linked to systematic cases of police abuse and ill-treatment in prisons and the lack of investigation and prosecution of such cases
  • Restrictions on freedom of assembly and freedom of expression and the lack of media pluralism due to a moratorium on radio and television broadcasting licenses
  • Deeply rooted patriarchal attitudes and the lack of women’s participation in public and political life
  • Absence of legislation prohibiting violence against women and children
  • Non-registration of births and insufficient access to adequate health care, including reproductive health care services for women living in rural areas.
  • Growth in human trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and children and the need to provide assistance to victims of trafficking
  • Recommendation to adopt a definition of torture in full compliance with article 1 of CAT and to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and its optional protocol and the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Armenia responded in detail to questions raised at the end of the dialogue. During this time Azerbaijan raised another point of order, reminding the delegation to respect the UPR rules and to avoid political issues. Armenia accepted 79 recommendations out of 85, it noted that 52 of these had already been or were being implemented, and said it would examine another five recommendations and provide answers by September 2010. It rejected one recommendation (by Azerbaijan) regarding discrimination against the Yezidi minority.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 07:50
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