News

Human Rights Defender Started to Speak and Act (video)

26.04.2011

The Human Rights Defender announced about his intention to hold  a forum on May 1 on the freedom of speech where he will offer a mechanism against inappropriate use of law by judges after decriminalization of articles on slander and insult. 

On April 26, Karen Andreasyan, the Human Rights Defender (HRD), held the long-awaited public press conference at the HRD office. Discussions were carried out on Karen Andreasyan's offer to become a mediator between opposition and the authorities, on the protection of media outlets after decriminalization of articles on slander and insult and not impartial position of judicial system as well as on other issues that are currently ignored by mass media but are not less important in Andreasyan's opinion.

"We cannot defend people from non-governmental bodies, and of non-governmental bodies the court is the only one that we cannot defend people from since the court is called to defend people's rights, i.e. we cannot interfere in the relations between people; this office has no right by law to interfere in the relations between a person and an employer, a person and a private company, between a person and a person", Andreasyan said responding to the question how their institute could defend people from oligarchs.

Answering the question what the ombudsman's action will be if the offender oligarch represents a state body and is a member of the National Parliament, Andreasyan said:

 "The National Assembly is not a state body, and we cannot defend from members of NA, but if a reporter is insulted or violence is used against him/her, and the police takes no action, this reporter can apply to us and we can protect him from inaction of the police," Andreasyan assured.

Speaking about a large number of lawsuits against mass media outlets after decriminalization of articles on slander and insult and on accusations against him, Andreasyan noted that did not feel double guilty.

"As for the current situation I cannot consider myself guilty since a person as a lawyer made a proposal and later legislative processes went on that he did not participate in, and now the law is being implemented and again he cannot participate in it", Andreasyan said. 

The ombudsman noted that he is concerned that judges keep silent about his messages since he believes that the law is actually very good, it is just implemented incorrectly due to the same judges.

The participants also discussed Andreasyan's recent offer on becoming a mediator between Armenian National Congress (ANC) and the authorities. Andreasyan is convinced that he will receive official responses from both ANC and the authorities, and that it is not excluded that these responses will be positive even though at present he is blamed that it is not in his competence.

"I don't think that chances are exhausted; as a lawyer I can prove that I legally have this opportunity; those who make such announcements just have to read article 2 of the RA Law on the Human Rights Defender and the RA Constitution to understand that I do have that right", Andreasyan says.

He refused to comment future developments, since he undertook the role of a mediator.    

Karen Andreasyan also said that cases of violation of human rights of ordinary citizens were not less important than high profile cases on public figures and reporters. 

After several months of Andreasyan's being in office about 300 applications were received but only 50 of them were set to process since the others were addressed wrongly due to unawareness of the citizens.  

Andreasyan marked out that citizens can apply to them if they have problems with the following structures: The State Committee of the Real Estate Cadastre adjacent to the RA Government, Compulsory Enforcement Service of Judicial Acts, Police, Prosecutor's office, armed forces, penitentiary institutions, State Labor Inspectorate, State Revenue Committee, Social Security Service etc.

Karine Ionesyan

Source: www.hra.am