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 Thursday, May 12 2022 14:45
Marianna Mkrtchyan

CoE Secretary General: We are waiting for a response from the  Armenian authorities to a request for reports of violence against  journalists during protests

CoE Secretary General: We are waiting for a response from the  Armenian authorities to a request for reports of violence against  journalists during protests

ArmInfo.MP from the "I have  Honor" bloc, Chairwoman of the NA Standing Committee on Human Rights Protection and Public Relations Taguhi Tovmasyan sent a written appeal to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija  Pejcinovic Buric in connection with the use of disproportionate force  by the police against citizens fighting for their rights in peaceful  protest actions in period from April 29 to May 2, on the bodily  injuries of people, as well as on cases of violence against  journalists.

Tovmasyan added that in her letter she presented in detail the  situation in Armenia, the obvious violations of human rights and  asked for an apropriate response from the Secretary General of the  Council of Europe to such cases, since her public opinion can play a  key role in preventing violence and protecting human rights.

As the opposition MP wrote on her Facebook page, in her response  letter, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe noted:  "As far as alleged disproportionate violence against journalists is  concerned, an alert has already been posted on our Platform to  promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists: A  reply from the authorities is awaited".

"Regarding the cases on using disproportionate force by the police  against citizens exercising their rights to peaceful assembly on  April 29 and May 2, on the bodily injuries of people, also the cases  on violence against journalists, I addressed the Secretary General of  the Council of Europe Marija Pejcinovic Buric. In my letter I  presented the situation in Armenia thoroughly, the evidently violent  actions violating human rights. I requested my colleague to give  relevant reaction to such cases as her public opinion may play a key  role in the prevention of violence and protection of human rights."  According to the MP The Secretary General, replying to her letter,  writes that freedom of peaceful assembly is one of the foundations of  a democratic, tolerant and pluralist society. It is guaranteed by the  European Convention on Human Rights, as interpreted by the European  Court of Human Rights including in cases concerning Armenia.

CoE Secretary General expects the police in their actions to adopt a  human rights-based approach to policing assemblies and the use of  force by law enforcement agencies should be lawful, necessary,  proportionate and limited to cases where it is strictly unavoidable.  Force should only be applied to the minimum extent necessary.  "Be  assured that the Council of Europe and its relevant institutions will  remain attentive to the situation and continue to work with the  authorities in Armenia - as in other member states - to uphold these  principles.

Surely I will continue with my efforts to share with the replies of  other influential international organizations in the wake of achieving  their consent for publicizing their opinions on such pressing issues;"  the Secretary General of the Council of Europe summed up. 

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