EaP CSF ARMENIAN NATIONAL PLATFORM
On the Death of Artur Sargsyan (The Bread Bringer)
March 23, 2017
Armenian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum with deep sorrow records another gross human rights violation in the Republic of Armenia, which on March 16, 2017 resulted in the death of Artur Sargsyan (The Bread Bringer), who had supplied food to “Sasna Tsrer” armed group. The Criminal proceeding against Artur Sargsyan, the negligence of the circumstance of his serious health problems and his detention, then after short release his re-detention based on the distorted medical forensic examination, give us ground to claim that Artur Sargsyan is a prisoner of conscience and has been persecuted for political motives.
Such cases further increase people’s desperation for the future of the country, especially in the period of pre-election promotion, when one can hear everywhere lofty statements about building a democratic state and protecting human rights.
To overcome the crisis of justice in the Republic of Armenia, EaP CSF Armenian National Platform demands:
- resignation of the RA Minister of Justice, RA General Prosecutor, Head of Penitentiary Department of the RA Ministry of Justice, Head of “Nubarashen” Penitentiary Institution;
- to dismiss the judges who applied detention as a precautionary measure – Artur Mkrtchyan, Judge from the Court of General Jurisdiction of Arabkir and Kanaker-Zeytun Administrative Districts, Karine Ghazaryan, Judge from the RA Criminal Court of Appeal, as well as the investigator and the supervising prosecutor, who made the decision to conduct double forensic examination;
- immediately initiate an investigation against the medical experts who participated in the forensic re-examination of Arthur Sargsyan and issued a conclusion, not being restricted only to the doctors of “Armenia” Medical Center;
- ensure public oversight of the whole process and outcomes of the initiated investigations.
EaP CSF Armenian National Platform restates the demand of the Resolution adopted by the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum’s 8th Annual Assembly held in Brussels on November 29, 2016: “Release all prisoners detained in the Republic of Armenia while exercising their right to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression immediately and unconditionally”.
The European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) condemns the refusal of the Armenian authorities to invite its international citizen observers to monitor the parliamentary election scheduled on 2 April 2017. Together with its Armenian member organisations Transparency International Anticorruption Center, Yerevan and the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor, EPDE strongly protest against the arbitral decision of the Armenian government.
The reason for the refusal is the allegedly high number of already accredited observers and, therefore, the lack of need for additional international observers. Both the refusal and its justification contradict the obligation of Armenia as a member of the OSCE to invite international observers from other OSCE countries, in particular the agreements set up by the 1990 CSCE/OSCE Copenhagen Document, later reafirmed in the 1999 OSCE Istanbul Document and in the Decision No. 19/06 (Paragraph 10) of the OSCE Ministerial Council Document “Strengthening the Effectiveness of the OSCE” signed in Brussels in 2006. This gives cause for serious concerns that the Armenian government might not consider the presence of international observers as an important contribution to enhancing the electoral process.
The EPDE calls upon the international community, particularly the OSCE-Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE-ODIHR), the EU-Commission and the Council of Europe to consider this arbitral denial of accreditation for international citizen election observers during relevant meetings and negotiations with the Armenian authorities in the future.
JOINT PRESS RELEASE
by the European Union and Republic of Armenia on the initialling of the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement
Yerevan, 21 March 2017
On 21st of March at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Yerevan, on behalf of the European Union (EU) Chief negotiator Luc Devigne, Deputy Managing Director in the European External Action Service and Trade lead negotiator Petros Sourmelis, Head of Unit in the European Commission, and on behalf of the Republic of Armenia Chief negotiator Garen Nazarian, Deputy Foreign Minister and Trade lead negotiator Garegin Melkonian, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Investments initialled the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement.
The Agreement will be an important step to broaden the scope of bilateral relations between the European Union and the Republic of Armenia. It will strengthen the political dialogue and set a solid basis for the continuation of economic and social reforms. Strong commitments to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, underpin the new agreement and EU-Armenia future cooperation. The Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement will also create the framework for stronger cooperation in sectors such as energy, transport and the environment, for new opportunities in trade and investments, and for increased mobility for the benefit of the citizens.
Relations between the European Union and Armenia have seen a significant strengthening in recent years. The Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement is a joint endeavour, which will further deepen their relations within the larger framework of the revised European Neighbourhood Policy and Eastern Partnership. The Agreement will offer the European Union and Armenia a platform to bring their relations to a new, higher level.