Statement at the 45th Session of the UN Human Rights Council
Universal Periodic Review on Human Rights -- Outcome Adoption for Armenia
Thank you, Madame President.
CIVICUS welcomes the government of Armenia’s engagement in the UPR process. We also acknowledge the steps taken by the government in managing the political transition and addressing some of the human rights concerns that were pervasive under the previous administration. We are, however, concerned about ongoing restrictions on the activities of human rights defenders, the targeting of independent media and smear campaigns by some government officials. There are also instances of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation.
In our UPR submission, we highlighted ongoing concerns over the targeting of human rights defenders who engage in advocacy on gender rights, environmental rights and the actions of large corporations. Last year, for example, human rights defender Lilit Martirosyan and her family were subjected to acts of intimidation and death threats after she made a speech about issues affecting members of the LGBTI community at the National Assembly. Such attacks are further precipitated by hateful and derogatory statements by some senior government officials. There have also been instances in which social media users have been arrested.
We remain concerned about the restrictions targeting some peaceful assemblies and the arbitrary arrests and judicial persecution of those who take part in such protests.
It is imperative for the Armenian authorities to also carry out independent investigations into past violence and excessive use of force by law enforcement which currently remain limited.
We welcome that Armenia accepted recommendations relating to enjoyment of fundamental freedoms, and we call on Armenia to take steps to implement such recommendations to create and strengthen an enabling environment for civil society.
Civic space in Armenia is currently rated as Obstructed by the CIVICUS Monitor