ArmInfo.The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, Clement Nyaletsossi Voule, spoke about the objectives of his visit to Armenia and presented an interim report on the work done.
Thus, on November 16 at a press conference in Yerevan, Voule stated that the purpose of his visit was to assist the Armenian authorities on the path to democratization, establish the rule of law, as well as various issues related to holding peaceful meetings.
The UN Special Rapporteur expressed satisfaction with the peaceful transfer of power in Armenia and urged the new leadership of the country not to deviate from the course taken to establish a solid improved democratic system based on human rights, as well as the establishment of strong and independent institutions.
"During my visit, I held meetings with representatives of various government agencies and public organizations. I visited the Shirak, Lori and Vayots Dzor regions, which allowed me to analyze what changes, occurred at the local government level. I am satisfied with the new trends that were fixed at this level, on public transparency, "he noted.
Speaking about the issues of holding peaceful assemblies, Voule stated that in Armenia there is no need to receive special permission to hold protest actions. "During the meetings, I came to the conclusion that after the transition period in the republic there were no restrictions related to holding peaceful assemblies," said Voule. However, he expressed concern about past police actions and the disproportionate use of force against participants in meetings. He is convinced that today it is necessary to increase the capacity of the police through trainings and training programs. According to him, the issue of ensuring the transparency and impartiality of the judicial system and the reforms in this direction are still in the process.
As another important area, Voule pointed out the need for more active involvement of women in the public and political life of the country.
"I am also concerned about the abolition of LGBT Christians in Armenia, since the authorities could not guarantee the safety of the participants. I told the authorities about my concern and urged them to make maximum efforts to avoid similar situations in the future", the rapporteur said UN.
At the same time, he expressed the conviction that the upcoming December 9 extraordinary parliamentary elections in Armenia will be another key event in the life of the Armenian people. In this regard, he called for free, independent, transparent elections to help create the necessary atmosphere for transformation and the continuation of the reform process. In this regard, he welcomed the actions of the new authorities of Armenia in the transitional period. "Armenia has come a serious way, but there are still many difficulties ahead that will have to be overcome. And the way the upcoming elections will be held will allow the authorities to measure the readiness of the changes", he said.
In conclusion, Voule emphasized that he had arrived in Armenia at the invitation of the government. According to him, the Armenian government during the revolution sent the invitation to him. To clarify the old or the new, Voule found it difficult to say, suggesting that it's rather new: "Most likely, it's difficult for me to say the new government, it's necessary to clarify. But I would like to say that Armenia is among those countries that are open to speakers issue. "
The interim report of the UN Special Representative will be published on the website of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in a few days, and the full report will be presented at the 41st session on human rights in June 2019. The interim report has already been submitted to the Armenian authorities for study.