HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER OF THE
REPUBLIC OF NAGORNO KARABAKH
The Human Rights Defender of Artsakh is in a visit to Budapest, Hungary, to attend an International Conference on “Victims of armed conflicts at the juncture of international humanitarian law and human rights law”. The Conference has been organized by the foreign affairs agencies of Hungary and Switzerland and is held on 11 May.
On 10 May Ruben Melikyan had meetings with the leadership and members of Armenian self-government in Hungary, with the Spokesman of the Armenian minority in the Hungarian Parliament Dr. Tamás Turgyán, as well as had an interview for the Armenian minority program, broadcasted by the Hungarian Public Radio.
While referring Ramil Safarov’s extradition issue, Mr. Melikyan highlighted its causal link with the atrocities conducted by Azerbaijani armed forces during the 2016 April War.
Mr. Melikyan particularly noted that Safarov's glorification was accompanied by the state encouragement to set his crime exemplary for the Azerbaijani youth, and the example was taken in April 2016.
The ombudsman added that Artsakh people also remember the thousands of Hungarian citizens, who raised their voice of protest against the decision to extradite Safarov.
It is a matter of deep concern that a journalist and blogger Mr. Alexander Lapshin was arrested and then extradited.
The described situation tends to turn to an unacceptable situation violating freedom of expression and media.
Considering the fact that visits of civil society actors and journalists to Nagorno-Karabakh have invaluable significance in humanitarian sense and providing objective information about the situation there. Any action towards territorial limitation for fulfilling media representatives’ democratic mission is strongly condemnable. This decision on A. Lapshin’s extradition is a real threat to freedom of expression and media that lie at the heart of European values, as well as seriously endangers human rights values.
Apart from this, the extradition of Mr. Alexander Lapshin is very concerning because of real possibility of his torture and inhuman treatment. Clear sign of ill-treatment against Mr. Lapshin is that his arrest and transfer into another region was largely disseminated in media: handcuffed, apprehended by military in masks and with guns. Such treatment towards a journalist is impermissible.
It is especially worrying that someone, according to the information already received from some journalists, has sent letters to some of journalists with threats to prosecute them for their journalistic activties. It is not acceptable to use this impermissible step for artificial prosecutions and infringement of journalists’ and civil activists’ rights.
The European Ombudsman Institute welcomes the importance of reactions protecting freedom of speech in any territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and other regions, already delivered by the OSCE special representative for freedom of the media, some EU officials and human rights defender organizations.
For preventing such kind of vicious practice it should be preliminary confronted with strong condemnation.
Today, Ruben Melikyan, the Ombudsman of Artsakh has visited Mr. Elnur Huseynzade, a citizen of Azerbaijan, who was arrested on 1 February, 2017 for suspicion of sabotage attempt and illegal border cross.
The Ombudsman was ensured that Mr. Huseynzade had been provided with a public defender and an interpreter of Azerbaijani language, who were already present during a number of procedural actions.
During the confidential interview, Mr. Huseynzade did not complain about his health or treatment towards him.
The Ombudsman expressed his readiness to support, within his capacity, to the fulfillment of Mr. Huseynzade's fundamental rights, including the right to a defense lawyer by his choice.
On 30 May 2016 there were numerous reports in mass media on the fact of 10-hours-long detention of Luka Vardanyan, an 8-years-old Russian national, who arrived to Baku airport with his mother, Ms. Christina Constantinova, and his stepfather. Both of them are also Russian Nationals (see http://regnum.ru/news/2138706.html). The only reason for the minor’s detention was his Armenian surname which gave Azerbaijani authorities a “solid” ground of suspecting Luka for having an Armenian origin.
This unacceptable incident is a clear sign of Azerbaijan’s state-supported policy of Armenophobia comprehensively described and documented in the Artsakh Ombudsman’s Interim Public Report of April 21, 2016 (pp. 12-49) (http://ombudsnkr.am/Interim_Public_Report_NKR_Omb_FINAL.pdf).
I call onto the International Human Rights Organizations, especially those in child rights protection area for adequate response to this particular incident and to the policy of Armenaphobia, in general. This policy is the imminent cause of terrific atrocities committed by Azerbaijani Military Forces during the large-scale aggression against the Artsakh Republic in early April, 2016.
The proper condemnation by International Community of the incident can prevent spreading hate speech and incitement to violence against Armenians, and as a result – the gross Human Rights violations in the region.
Human Rights Defender of Artsakh Republic
30-го мая 2016г. в СМИ появился ряд публикаций о том, что 8-ми летний гражданин Российской Федерации Лука Варданян был на 10 часов задержан в Бакинском аэропорту со своей матерью Кристиной Коснтантиновой и ее мужем, также являющимися гражданами РФ (см. http://regnum.ru/news/2138706.html). Единственной причиной задержания ребенка была его фамилия, из-за которой власти Азербайджана “подозревали” его в том, что он является армянином.
Этот неприемлемый инцидент – проявление политики армянофобии, проводимой в Азербайджане на государственном уровне и подробно описанной в опубликованном 21 апреля 2016г. Промежуточном публичном докладе омбудсмена Арцаха.
Призываю международные организации по защите прав человека, в особенности те, которые занимаются защитой прав ребенка, дать соответствующую оценку данному инциденту и политике армянофобии в целом. Последняя является непосредственной причиной ужасающих зверств, осуществленных вооруженными силами Азербайджана по отношению к Арцаху в начале апреля 2016г .
Надлежащее осуждение инцидента со стороны международного сообщества может предотвратить распространение агитации ненависти и подстрекательства к насилию в отношении армян и как следствие – грубых нарушений прав человека в регионе.
Защитник прав человека Республики Арцах
Address of the NKR Human Rights Defender Yuri Hayrapetyan
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