First Anniversary of the Human Rights Defender Karen Andreasyan’s Taking Office
Before disseminating via mass media the summaries of the separate chapters of the report, we are presenting to public the summarized information of the 26th part which relates to the Defender’s activities during 2011.
In 2011 the Defender and his staff provided legal service to 4596 individuals. 344 complaints out of 607 that were within the Defender’s powers were resolved in favor of the applicant resulting in the restoration of the rights of all these people.
In November 2011 Defender launched the toll-free 24 hour 116 Hot Line. The Rapid Response Group was reopened anew staffed with human and technical resources. The Defender’s Hot line provided assistance to 778 citizens during the first two months of its operation.
The Defender applied to the Constitutional Court questioning the constitutionality of the provisions of defamation and insult prescribed by the RA Civil Code; the Court imposed mandatory legal provisions in favor of freedom of expression thus significantly improving the acting legislation and its application. In this regard the Defender’s contribution to the promotion of freedom of expression in the country was highlighted by the "European Friends of Armenia" Belgian organization. The “Reporters without Borders” in its 2011 statement highlighted the importance of Information Disputes Council established on the Defender’s initiative in the development of journalistic ethics and media self-regulation mechanisms.
The Human Rights Defender signed MoUs with around 80 human rights NGOs, which resulted in the implementation of around 20 project-events with many of them.
The Defender’s staff reviewed more than 50 draft laws and presented various comments and suggestions for protection of human rights, the majority of which were adopted by the authors of the draft laws.
The newly established Torture Prevention Expert Council carried out 60 monitoring visits to police departments, prisons, military units, psychiatric hospitals, orphanages, special schools, retirement homes. During monitoring visits a number of cases of violence and ill-treatment and other violations were revealed. The findings of the monitoring visits were published in a report issued in December 2011.
During 2011 the Defender organized a series of conferences devoted to freedom of expression, fair trial, protection of vulnerable groups and cooperation with human rights organizations. In additions, with the aim of highlighting and discussing human rights issues, the Defender and his staff participated in around 70 public discussions, dozens of TV-Radio programs, as well as gave hundreds of interviews to journalists.
In December 2011 the Defender participated in the EU-Armenia Human Rights dialogue, during which he addressed the functioning of the judicial system, freedom of expression, conscience and religion, law violations in the army, as well as 2012 parliamentary elections. The Defender’s considerations were included into the the European Parliament's recommendations on the negotiations of the EU-Armenia Association Agreement</Titre>.
On December 10 – the International Human Rights Day- for the first time the Defender organized “Human Rights EXPO 2011”, where the current acute topical issues in the protection of the rights children, women, victims of violence, refugees, people with disabilities, minorities, as well as issues of right to information were presented for the public’s attention.
The Defender presented 3 ad-hoc public reports addressing the guaranteeing of the right to social security, protection of the rights of national minorities, and the right to participate in the cultural life of the country.
The Defender made around 30 official statements about his activities and on the issues of public importance, including the ban on Raffi Hovhannisyan’s tent during his hunger strike, the Police and Mayor’s illegal actions in kiosks’ dismantling, investigation of circumstances of military servicemen deaths, realization of the right to a fair trial and necessity to subject several judges to disciplinary sanctions, the necessity of effective public control over law enforcement for the protection of freedom of expression, issues of torture and ill-treatment in the country, elimination of the consequences of March 2008 events, deficiencies of the tender system of the Ministry of Education and Science, freedom of assemblies, realization of property and social rights in the country and other issues.
Staff of the Human Rights Defender
Staff of the Human Rights Defender
of the Republic of Armenia
Address: 56A Pushkin str, Yerevan, Armenia
Tel: (37410) 53 88 42; (37477) 36 11 49