ArmInfo. The "Armenia" opposition faction of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia proposes to approve the draft statement of parliament regarding the proposal presented by the Hayaqve initiative on the criminalization of the refusal of self-determination of Nagorno-Karabakh and the belittlement of the Armenian Genocide. This was stated by faction secretary Artsvik Minasyan at a meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs on December 4.
According to him, the faction proposes not only to approve the draft statement, but also to include the issue on the parliamentary agenda. Minasyan noted that the initiative managed to collect the required number of votes (50 thousand) to introduce the relevant amendments to the Criminal Code, which is the most important institution of democracy and the first time when citizens themselves participate in lawmaking. The bill is also important from the point of view of protecting national values, namely, recognizing the right of the people of Artsakh to self-determination and condemning any actions directed against this right and recognizing these actions as criminal offenses.
On October 11, the Hayaqve initiative group officially put on the parliamentary agenda a bill on criminalizing the transfer of Artsakh to Azerbaijan and the refusal to recognize the Armenian Genocide. As ArmInfo previously reported, on June 20, the Central Election Commission (CEC) of the Republic of Armenia approved the application of the Hayaqve initiative group to organize the collection of 50 thousand signatures and submit a legislative initiative to the National Assembly, and 300,000 signatures if it is rejected by the National Assembly. A 60-day period has been set for collecting signatures - from June 21 to August 19, 2023. The initiative group submitted a corresponding application to the CEC on June 12, in which it came up with the initiative to change the legislation, which provided for severe punishment for refusing self-determination of Nagorno-Karabakh and belittling the Armenian Genocide. The collection of signatures has been completed; a total of 58 thousand signatures have been collected.
In parallel with the discussions in the RA NA committees, numerous citizens gathered in front of the parliament building, demanding that amendments to the Criminal Code be included in the NA agenda. In a conversation with journalists, former Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Tiran Khachatryan, said that everything should be done to ensure that the Nagorno-Karabakh issue remains open. According to the general, it will allow further steps to be taken for the possible return of Artsakh. According to Khachatryan, since 1989 there have been possibilities for the reunification of Nagorno-Karabakh with the Republic of Armenia. These prerequisites and grounds remain today; to abandon them would mean closing the issue once and for all.