Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for the ‘Armenia’ Category

Azerbaijan: Baku May Blacklist European Tv News Channel

Posted by Info on 08/12/2009

A late November Euronews report on the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh is prompting Azerbaijan’s broadcasting regulator to threaten to ban “anti-Azerbaijan” cable television stations.

The Azerbaijani government claims that Euronews reporter Michael Raikhman’s documentary was biased in favor of Armenia. “If any foreign television channel continues broadcasting such biased programs, we will demand cessation [of transmitting the channels on cable],” the Trend news agency quoted National Broadcasting Council Chairperson Nusheravan Maharrami as saying on December 5.

Describing the broadcast as “political,” Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov argued that “[s]omeone is intentionally doing this at Euronews.”

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Jail or Parliament For Armenian Journalist?

Posted by Info on 05/11/2009

Jailed Armenian opposition newspaper editor Nikol Pashinian says he will run as a candidate for parliament.
Pashinian, 34, is currently on trial for his alleged role in antigovernment protests following the March 2008 presidential election.

Pashinian plans to contest a parliament seat in a by-election in a constituency recently vacated by Khachatur Sukiasian, a businessman and supporter of former President Levon Ter-Petrosian. Sukiasian went into hiding in the aftermath of the postelection unrest, surrendered to authorities in September and resigned his parliament seat.

Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) alliance suppor Pashinian’s bid and pledged to work to secure his election. HAK had earlier refused to support another opposition figure, Suren Sureniants, who also intended to run for parliament in the same constituency. Five people have applied to run in the race, which is scheduled for January 10.

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UN to sign cooperation deal with post-Soviet security group

Posted by Info on 14/10/2009

The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) expects to sign a deal with the UN that would allow for joint peacekeeping and counter-terrorism operations.

Headquartered in Moscow, the CSTO, a post-Soviet regional security grouping, comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

The document cited by the Kommersant paper is similar to a deal that the UN and NATO signed last year.

According to the draft project, the UN and the CSTO are set to jointly counter “the new challenges and threats that the international community faces,” including terrorism, transnational crime, drug and arms trafficking.

CSTO was founded on October 7, 2002 and register with the  UN in 2003.

Main objectives are ensuring peace, preserving the territorial integrity of member countries, coordinating activities in the fight against international terrorism, drug trafficking, and organized international crime, and providing immediate military assistance to a CSTO member in the event of a military threat.

Some experts say the CSTO was created to prevent NATO’s further eastward expansion and keep some CIS countries under Russia’s military protection. CSTO has a Collective Rapid Reaction Force with 1,500 military personnel deployed in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

Posted in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, UN, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

Eurovision Issue Closed – new rules insuring privacy in voting

Posted by Info on 22/09/2009

Radio Free: Eurovision had investigated reports that some Azerbaijani citizens who had voted for the Armenian song in the Eurovision Song Contest held in Moscow in May were called to the Security Ministry to explain their vote.

Although Eurovision did not sanction Azerbaijan, it did change its rules so that the national broadcaster will now be responsible for the actions of the telecom company in the event that such phone records are reported to the government.

The change is seen as ensuring the privacy of the millions of people taking part in the Eurovision voting.

In one example of the harassment, Rovshan Nasirli, a 25-year-old Azerbaijani, was called to the Security Ministry on August 12 to explain why he voted for the Armenian song in the contest. The officials told Nasirli that his vote for Armenia — Azerbaijan’s long-standing rival — was a matter of national security.

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“Nations in Transit 2009” – democratic developments and setbacks of 29 countries in the former Communist states of Europe and Eurasia

Posted by Info on 05/09/2009

Freedom House: Nations in Transit 2009 is  comparative study of democratic development from Central Europe to Eurasia. It examines 29 countries. The overarching conclusion is that 2008 was a very difficult year for democracy: scores declined for 18 of the 29 countries, and a record eight countries are now in the “consolidated authoritarian regimes” category. A number of events illustrate the intensification of these negative trends.

In 2008, for the first time in the 21st century, a war erupted between two states covered in Nations in Transit. The so-called “August War” between Georgia and Russia. Two petro-states, Azerbaijan (which recorded the largest democratic decline in this edition of Nations in Transit) and the Russian Federation, held uncompetitive presidential elections in which the result was predetermined. Armenia’s presidential poll was marred by lethal post-election violence. And the government in Georgia used administrative resources to seriously influence that country’s hotly contested presidential and parliamentary elections. Nations in Transit 2009 documents how journalists were once again at risk throughout the region, from Croatia to Uzbekistan.. and outright irresponsibility among political leaders, as in Ukraine.”

Georgia NIT 2009 (Russian version) and Russia NIT 2009 (Russian version)

Posted in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Грузия, Россия, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

ARMENIA: Wave of hacker attacks blamed on Azerbaijan

Posted by Info on 22/08/2009

EurasiaNet: A surge in hacker attacks on several Armenian government and private websites has prompted Armenian information technology experts to demand that Armenia’s Internet security become a matter of state security.

..hackers posted on the sites swear words in English, the flags of Azerbaijan and Turkey, a map that shows the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbiajan, and photos of victims from the 1988-1994 Nagorno-Karabakh war.

“It’s not even important what they place [on the websites] . . . this stuff will be deleted. Maybe someone will lose their job, maybe not,” commented SmartTech’s Muradian. “What is important is our attitude to security. Even one hijacked website is a big problem in terms of information security. “

Posted in Armenia, Azerbaijan | 1 Comment »

Azerbaijani Authorities Interrogate Music Fan Over Eurovision Vote For Armenia – “a matter of national security”

Posted by Info on 16/08/2009

Radio Liberty: Rovshan Nasirli, a young Eurovision fan living in the Azerbaijani capital Baku, says he was summoned this week to the country’s National Security Ministry — to explain why he had voted for Armenia during this year’s competition in May. Nasirli said :

“They wanted an explanation for why I voted for Armenia. They said it was a matter of national security. They were trying to put psychological pressure on me, saying things like, ‘You have no sense of ethnic pride. How come you voted for Armenia?’ They made me write out an explanation, and then they let me go.”

The security  had on the list another 43 phone numbers with names and addresses of another persons who voted for Armenia.

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Armenia’s Press Club Calls For Jailed Editor To Be Released

Posted by Info on 25/07/2009

Armenia’s National Press Club has issued a statement demanding the release of a jailed opposition newspaper editor.

“Haykakan Zhamanak” editor Nikol Pashinian, 34, was known for influential speeches at antigovernment rallies held by the opposition after the February 2008 disputed presidential election and for his leadership in the protests that followed the vote.  The statement singled out Pashinian for his role “in establishing the Armenian press in the modern period.”

He went into hiding and was sought by authorities for 16 months until he turned himself in on July 1 after a law was passed promising amnesty to activists in the postelection events. But he was denied bail because the legislation only gave amnesty to oppositionists sentenced up to five years in jail.

Pashinian is charged with organizing “mass disturbances” and “unsanctioned rallies” as well as defying “representatives of the state authority.”  He could be sentenced to between four and 10 years in jail if found guilty.

Statement of Nikol Pashinian

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Posted by Info on 10/07/2009

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s decision to shut down the commission investigating the deaths of the 10 people killed during March 2008 clashes between police and protesters has prompted families of the deceased to fear that those responsible for the deaths will escape punishment.

President Sargsyan ordered the commission’s closure on June 6; its members “failed to depart from their political benchmarks and work independently,” presidential spokesperson Samvel Farmanian claimed.

The prosecutor’s office has identified four police officers who carried the guns, but stated that it could not pinpoint which officer had fired the gun that killed the three men.

Seda Safarian, a former opposition member of the investigative commission, confirmed to EurasiaNet that the commission spent several months investigating the use of the riot guns. The information gathered clearly indicated that the police officers had intentionally used the weapon against the three people slain, she said.

After more than a year of waiting, however, the diplomatic approach carries little weight with grieving families.

“We have no more hope that the cases will be solved in our country, but we won’t let anyone kill our children and go on to enjoy life. The guilty must be punished.”

commented Sargis Kloyan, the father of 28-year-old Gor Kloyan, an election monitor for Serzh Sargsyan’s campaign and one of the three people killed by a Cheryomukha-7 gun.

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Armenia has semi-consolidated authoritarian regime

Posted by Info on 05/07/2009

Freedom House:05.07.2009

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Democratic decline in Central Europe and Eurasia was widespread in 2008, according to the Nations in Transit publication released by the Washington-based Freedom House. Freedom House researchers determined that democracy in 18 of 29 countries studied suffered setbacks.

Among the former Soviet states, Georgia and Ukraine were described as “hybrid regimes” with both democratic and authoritarian tendencies, and Armenia and Moldova as “semi-consolidated authoritarian regimes.”

Kyrgyzstan and Russia joined Belarus, Azerbaijan, and other Central Asian countries in a group that Freedom House calls “consolidated authoritarian states.” The report singled out “petro-state Azerbaijan,” which “recorded the most significant declines” in terms of democratic development.

The researchers determined that perceived democratic gains made in Georgia and Kyrgyzstan following the so-called Rose and Tulip revolutions in 2003 and 2005 were fully reversed by 2008.

Freedom House also criticized international monitors “that issued positive statements about elections in 2008 that were clearly flawed, such as those in Azerbaijan and Armenia.”

Posted in Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine | Leave a Comment »

Armenian Political Prisoners Released

Posted by Info on 29/06/2009

Armenian authorities have begun releasing dozens of political prisoners more than 15 months after suppressing massive opposition demonstrations against the official results of a disputed presidential election.They have ensured, however, that not all jailed supporters of the top opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian are set free under a general amnesty declared on June 19.

President Serzh Sarksyan’s intention to keep more than a dozen of them behind bars is a measure of his self-confidence, resulting from opposition setbacks and Western support for his foreign policy.

Few doubt that the measure is primarily a face-saving way of freeing more than 50 opposition members and supporters arrested in the wake of the troubled vote. The vast majority of them were jailed in connection with the March 1, 2008 clashes in Yerevan between the security forces and opposition protesters that left ten people dead and more than 200 others injured. Many received prison sentences solely on the basis of police testimony.

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