Monday, May 11 2020 13:24
Ani Mshetsyan

Arman Tatoyan: Violation of rights of residents of Artsakh  unacceptable

Arman Tatoyan: Violation of rights of residents of Artsakh  unacceptable

ArmInfo. For the office of the  Ombudsman of Armenia, 2019 was unprecedentedly overloaded in terms of  the amount of work done. Human Rights Defender of Armenia Arman  Tatoyan stated this on May 11 from the rostrum of the parliament.

He noted that the number of applications and complaints increased by  3 times. <If in 2016 there were 5.113 applications, then in 2019  their number increased to 13.140. Moreover, from January 1 to April  30, 2020, 75% more applications were received than for the entire  last year. And all of the above does not include visits to places of  deprivation of liberty, monitoring, expressing opinions on  legislative initiatives, etc.  Moreover, since 2019 we ourselves have  been developing legislative acts. In 2019, the rating of the Human  Rights Defender of Armenia in the international arena also increased;  various authoritative international structures listen to our  recommendations. International partners suggested introducing our  experience in countries such as Portugal, Jordan, Bosnia and  Herzegovina, Tunisia, Morocco, etc. I would also like to note that  the Ombudsman Institute in Armenia has been assigned the status <A>  by an independent UN commission, which indicates that its creation  and functioning complies with international standards of  independence>, Tatoyan emphasized.

According to the Ombudsman, for the defender of human rights, not  only the international image is very important, but also the trust of  the people within the country. <According to the estimates of the  International Republican Institute, the Ombudsman is trusted by 63%  of the population of Armenia.  According to the estimates of the  Center for Anti-Corruption Studies and Initiatives of Transparency  International, the majority of respondents after the Prime Minister  and the police would report the corruption ombudsmen by officials to  the Ombudsman of Armenia, "Tatoyan stated.

Tatoyan also touched on the importance of suffrage. <Despite the fact  that in 2019 no national elections were held in Armenia, however,  elections were held to local authorities, during which positive  dynamics persisted, which was recorded during the early parliamentary  elections in 2018. In the field of social security, positive dynamics  were also outlined, however, there are significant problems. Often  people are denied benefits on an unreasonable and frivolous basis.  Citizens are not advised about the documents that they need to  provide, as well as about the danger that may arise if they are late  with the provision of documents. The rights of citizens who live  abroad and receive a pension are also infringed. They may have  problems with receiving pensions if they do not visit the bank to  receive it at least once>, the human rights advocate noted.

Human Rights Defender also noted that there are a number of issues  regarding the judicial system. <At times, children with down  syndrome, AIDS and hepatitis are negatively affected by medical staff  and other patients. Moreover, violations of medical confidentiality  have been noticed, as well as there are cases of violation of the  rights to medical support for unsecured layers of society>, Tatoyan  emphasized.

The Human Rights Defender  also noted that there are a number of  issues regarding the judicial system.  <Judges and the judiciary do  not enjoy special trust in society. Often, court decisions are made  in violation of the rights of citizens who have applied to the court.  And the problem is not always in the negligence of the judge; judges  in the country work with great overload. We need to restore people's  confidence in the judicial system>, the Ombudsman noted.

Tatoyan stated that freedom of speech plays a special role in  protecting human rights. <We have seen positive changes in this area.  However, a special place in the protection of human rights is freedom  of speech on social networks. In Armenia, in 2019, there has been a  development of hatred, threats and aggression in social networks.  Fake accounts are particularly aggressive. You should immediately  stop the development of an environment of hatred in social networks.  In this regard, the work of the media is of particular importance. It  is the press that should help the government solve such important  issues. And every effort should be made to prevent violation of  rights of the press,> he said.

The Ombudsman stated that there are problems in the field of  individual freedom. <So, sometimes citizens are illegally detained,  and also often, arrest is chosen unreasonably as a preventive  measure. Arrest is the strictest measure of restraint and should be  elected only in exceptional cases. Also, an arrested person cannot be  restricted in meetings with members of his family. Particularly  apparent are the problems associated with the presumption of  innocence, which is often violated. Violations by law enforcement  agencies are also observed in this matter, which lawyers did not  symbolize. At the penitentiary institution, a person should be  provided with appropriate medical care and his rights in custody  should not be violated.  Also, 77% of negative conclusions are made  to requests in the field of probation, which is incorrect and  contradicts the very essence of this system>, Tatoyan noted.

The Ombudsman noted that a special place is given to human rights in  the army. <We pay special attention to cooperation with the Ministry  of Defense. Discipline should be established in the army, and  personnel working in the army should be provided with everything  necessary. Also, a special place in my activity is occupied by the  protection of the rights of residents of Artsakh. Women, elderly and  children also live in Artsakh. Violation of their rights is  unacceptable>, Tatoyan concluded. 

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