SELECTIVE JUSTICE MUST BE EXCLUDED IN ARMENIA
On 31 March, the ruling Civil Contract faction of the National Assembly disseminated information, according to which Mher Sahakyan, a member of parliament from opposition, physically attacked Vladimir Vardanyan, Chairman of the State and Law Committee during a committee in-camera session, which caused an injury to the latter.
Two days later, Karen Mkrtchyan, an Armenian from diaspora disseminated information via social networks, according to which Alen Simonyan, the Speaker of the National Assembly ordered his bodiguards to hold him, while he spat on him after Karen Mkrtchyan had called him a ‘traitor.’ Not only did Alen Simonyan not deny this news but he indirectly confirmed it by first disseminating justifications and later apologies on the incident via social media.
Whilst the criminal proceedings in connection with the first incident did not keep us waiting for too long since it was on 12 April that the RA General Prosecutor appeared before the National Assembly with a motion to deprive Mher Sahakyan of his parliamentary immunity, in the second case the public has been witnessing clear inaction on the part of the General Prosecutor, since there are no signs that the second incident, with prima facie elements of crime, will merit an adequate criminal assessment. Neither are there any signs that this conduct will be examined by the Ethics Committee of the National Assembly.
The Armenian members of the EU-Armenia Civil Society Platform remind the Armenian authorities that under Article 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, the human being is a supreme value, and the human dignity is the inviolable basis of human rights and freedoms. Accordingly, human dignity is at the heart of the right to physical security, the right to privacy and the right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment. All rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interconnected, and there are no rights that must be protected more than others. It is also important to note that respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as guaranteed by Article 2 of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement forms an essential element of the agreement.
In view of the aforesaid, the Armenian members of the EU-Armenia Civil Society Platform urge the Armenian authorities, including Armenia’s General Prosecutor to initiatiate criminal proceedings in connection with the incident involving Alen Simonyan to exclude a situation, whereby justice is administered selectively in Armenia.
EU Armenia Civil Society Platform is a body established under Article 366 of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement signed in Brussels on 24 November 2017. It enables civil society organisations on both sides to contribute to the implementation of CEPA by advice to decision-makers, monitoring of the implementation of reforms undertaken by the Government and raising awareness of interested parties of the CEPA and its implementation.