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   13.09.2016
               

   Human Rights Defenders of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) conducted fact-finding in the village of Mataghis, Mataghis reservoir area and the area of Alashan during Ombudsman Arman Tatoyan's September 8-11 visit to Nagorno-Karabakh. By the request of Mr. Arman Tatoyan, the NKR Ombudsman Ruben Melikyan presented the results of the on-going fact-finding on atrocities committed by Azerbaijani armed forces in April, 2016. In particular, the ombudsmen visited Mataghis village and reservoir and conducted joint fact-finding. There were recorded targeted attacks by the Azerbaijan armed forces at civilian objects. The attacks towards the reservoir aimed to cause big losses to the civilians of Nagorno-Karabakh and deprive them of the opportunity to satisfy their vital needs. Such behavior violates international law, including the international humanitarian law. The Human Rights Defenders of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh also visited the area of Alashan in the region of Martakert where they met with people who had left their homes in the village of Talish because of Azerbaijan's April attacks. During the meeting additional information has been collected with regards to the armed attacks, as well as cruelties, committed by Azerbaijan with respect to civilians in Talish. Human Rights Defenders of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh (Republic of Artsakh) draw attention of international organizations to the violations against civilians commenced by Azerbaijani armed forces. This information, with relevant factual grounds, will be presented to the international human rights organizations.
   
   Human Rights Defender’s Office of the Republic of Armenia
   
   Human Rights Defenders Office of Nagorno Karabakh Republic
   09.06.2016
Press release

   On 8th of June 2016 the Artsakh Ombudsman Mr. Ruben Melikyan visited the Republican Medical Center of Stepanakert to meet the member of the National Assembly of Artsakh Republic, Mr. Hayk Khanumyan.
   The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the details of criminal procedural acts Mr. Khanuman was involved in. During the meeting, Mr. Khanumyan mentioned, that by the decision of the investigator he was given a status of victim of the crime, he was interrogated and was acquainted with the decision of initiation of the forensic examination.
   The Ombudsman asked whether Mr. Khanumyan has a legal representative, and the MP mentioned that currently he himself is fulfilling his legal representation within the scope of the criminal case.
   At the end of the meeting, the Ombudsman reassured that he will keep the procedure of this case in the focus of his attention, as it was declared in his public announcement of 6th of June 2016.
   The Office of Artsakh Ombudsman
09.06.2016
   12.05.2016
OPEN LETTER TO EUROVISION-2016 ORGANIZERS

Dear ladies and gentlemen of the EBU and the Reference Group,

My name is Ruben Melikyan. I am the elected Human Rights Defender of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), a democracy located between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan. I should proudly and humbly protect the freedom and human rights of the Nagorno-Karabakh people, approximately 150 000 peaceful civilians -- men, women, children and elderly -- all living between two European countries. I am a European, whose country is denied access to the European community and whose flag has found itself amidst anger, fear, embarrassment, shame, and most importantly, apathy. This resulted in your official statement of May 11 of 2016.

First of all, on behalf of the people of Karabakh, I would like to express my strong disagreement with your statement's language that described the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as a mere territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan. We, the people of the NKR, have been exercising our fundamental and undeniable right to self-determination since 1991 by declaring and defending our independence from Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan. It was done in full conformity with International Law and then-applicable Soviet Constitutional Law. Thus, your description of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is inaccurate and offensive to my people, and adds injury to an insult.

Secondly, I would like to kindly draw your attention to the events of April 2-5, 2016, which probably determined the song contestant’s very understandable personal motivation to exhibit the NKR National flag.

I'd also like to kindly draw your attention to the facts, well-documented in the Interim Public Report of the NKR Human Rights Defender, recording all the atrocities and violations committed by Azerbaijani military forces from April 2 to April 5 of 2016.
We documented beheadings that happened in Europe, murders and dismemberments of elderlies that happened in Europe, intensive shellings of schools and dwellings that happened in Europe just 40 days ago. And as a responsible European, who cares about European values and seeks democracy and peace, the song contestant merely called for peace and unity amidst these barbaric atrocities by exhibiting the flag of the NKR, for the people who have lost their lives, just 40 days ago, on a land that is our home. Nevertheless, you threatened to sanction the participant, silencing an adequate and humble expression of her freedom of speech.
Europe is united over the values of fundamental human rights, and at the core of these values is freedom of speech. As the subject of the speech is of extraordinary importance, there should not be any restriction whatsoever for freedom of expression. ISIS-style beheadings and other terrible war crimes of Azerbaijani armed forces were committed just 40 days ago, and Azerbaijan is threatening openly to repeat them if my people do not obey the rule of Azerbaijani Republic, a country with state-fueled policy of Armenophobia.


Ladies and gentlemen,
These circumstances can be named no other way but extraordinary. Accordingly your statement on enforcement of your Rule 1.2.2.2h can be named no other way but an overreaction to a mere reminder of the situation by a mere exhibition of a National Flag.
I kindly call for your conscious as Europeans to remember the fundamental values of Europe, incorporated in the teachings of John Locke, Voltaire, Kant, and not of the likes of Hitler and Mussolini. I kindly call upon you to take the side of peace and unity. And finally I kindly ask you to remain in the framework of the Song Contest format and to not enter the field of international politics.

Relating links
1. http://ombudsnkr.am/Interim_Public_Report_NKR_Omb_FINAL.pdf
2. http://ombudsnkr.am/Legal_Assessment_May_2_human_shielding_use_of_indiscriminate_weapons_FINAL.pdf

Sincerely,
Ruben Melikyan
Human Rights Defender of
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh Republic)
   12.05.2016

Օn May 10 Human Rights Defender of Artsakh Ruben Melikyan, accompanied by the Defender’s staff, visited Mataghis and Talish villages of Martakert region.
During the visit Ombudsman observed the consequences of Azerbaijani military forces’ shelling, particularly the damages to the civil objects. The Ombudsman paid special attention to the fact that both in Mataghis and in Talish the local schools were subjected to targeted shellings.
Ombudsman and the staff members also communicated with local residents, who expressed deep concern over Azerbaijani military forces’ attacks.
      
   03.05.2016
   
The NKR Ombudsman’s Report on Atrocities Committed by Azerbaijani side has been printed


    The NKR Human Rights Defender’s (Ombudsman) Interim Public Report on Atrocities Committed by Azerbaijani Military Forces against the Civilian Population of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and Servicemen of the Nagorno Karabakh Defence Army on 2-5 April 2016 has been printed.
    The Report was and is being presented to international organizations. The international community has widely reacted to the Report. From the perspective of revealing human rights violations, the Report comprehensively analyzes and documents the grave violations of international human rights and international humanitarian laws.
    The Report contains a reasoned analysis of Azerbaijani Armenophobic policy which violates all international human rights requirements, as well as its horrific consequences, portrayed with specific examples of atrocities. The Report also examines the Azerbaijani hatred policy towards ethnic Armenians, its horrific consequences that violate all international human rights norms. It provides with the objective assessments of international human rights organizations on Azerbaijan’s policy of inciting hatred and violence towards people of Armenian ethnicity. It also refers to the hate speech in Azerbaijani mass media and social networks.
    The Report also reveals the violations of international standards on human rights protection, as well as violations of international humanitarian law requirements. From that perspective, the attacks initiated against and the cases of inhuman treatment towards the civilian population and the NKR Defence Army Servicemen have been analyzed.

    Content Warning:
    The Report contains pictures and descriptions of brutality and mutilation committed by Azerbaijani military forces. Pictures used in the Report were taken from media publications.
   27.04.2016
The European Ombudsman Institute has made an official statement condemning Azerbaijani atrocities and published the Interim Report of NKR Human Rights Defender


    The European Ombudsman Institute (EOI) has published on its official website the NKR Human Rights Defender’s Interim Report on Atrocities Committed by Azerbaijani Military Forces against the Civilian Population of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and Servicemen of the Nagorno Karabakh Defence Army on 2-5 April 2016.
    The EOI has also officially condemned the Azerbaijani atrocities against Armenian civilian settlements and peaceful civilians. The EOI expressed its concern that the NKR civilians had been subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment.
    The EOI has addressed the attacks initiated on civilian settlements, especially, schools and kindergartens and also intolerable inroads against children and old people, by noting that these actions are violating the European high values of human rights and principles of international humanitarian law.
    The EOI is one of the most important institutions in the field of human rights protection in Europe. The NKR Human Rights Defender is a member of the EOI since 2009.
NKR Human Rights Defender’s Office
   22.04.2016
The Human Rights Defender of Nagorno Karabakh Republic presented the Interim Public Report on atrocities committed by Azerbaijan to international agencies


    The Interim Public Report prepared by the Human Rights Defender of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic regarding the Atrocities committed by Azerbaijani military forces against the civilian population of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and servicemen of the Nagorno Karabakh Defence Army on 2-5 April 2016 was published yesterday, on April 21, 2016.
    Today the Interim Report has been communicated to the relevant international human rights organisations.
    In particular, the report has been submitted to the Human Rights Commissioners of the United Nations and the Council of Europe, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the OSCE, the European Ombudsman Institute, the International Ombudsman Institute, etc.
    The report has also been sent to reputable international human rights watchdogs, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Association for the Prevention of Torture and others.
   22.04.2016
"Euro Ombudsman" about the Interim Public Report prepared by the NKR Human Rights Defender

    The Russian Federation’s Agency for the development of regional socio-legal communications "Dialog" in its outlet the "Euro Ombudsman" has published the Interim Public Report prepared by the Human Rights Defender of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic On the Atrocities Committed by Azerbaijani Military Forces against the Civilian Population of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and Defence Army Servicemen on 2-5 April 2016.
    “The report analyses Azerbaijan’s anti-Armenian policy that violates all international human rights norms as well as its terrifying consequences- with concrete cases of atrocities. The report discusses the impartial assessments by reputable international organizations regarding the facts of hate speech and incitement to violence against ethnic Armenians by Azerbaijani authorities”, - reads the publication of Euro Ombudsman, which also underlines that the illegal policies of Azerbaijani authorities are in breach of basic requirements of the international humanitarian law.
    “The European Ombudsman” is a periodical published by the European Ombudsman Institute and is distributed in a number of countries, including former Soviet republics.
    The relevant publication can be found under the following link here.
The Office of the Human Rights Defender
of the NagornoKarabakh Republic
   21.04.2016
Nagorno Karabakh Republic (Artsakh Republic)
Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman)

Interim Public Report

On Atrocities Committed by Azerbaijani Military Forces Against
the Civilian Population of the NKR and the Servicemen of the NKR Defence Army
on 2-5April 2016

Dear Colleagues,

    On April 02, 2016 Azerbaijani military forces breached the Ceasefire Agreement of 1994 by a well-planned large-scale massive attack. The most serious and bloody military operation along the entire NKR-Azerbaijani line of contact for the last 20 years was initiated, that resulted in gross mass violations of human rights.
    Today, the Interim Public Report of the NKR Ombudsman on Atrocities Committed by Azerbaijani Military Forces against the Civilian Population of the NKR and the Servicemen of the NKR Defence Army on April 2-5, 2016 has been published.
    The Report is in English and it analyses the Azerbaijani hatred policy towards people of Armenian origin and its horrific consequences that violate all international human rights standards with certain examples of torture and humiliation. The Report provides international human rights organizations’ objective assessments of Azerbaijan’s policy of inciting hatred and violence towards people of Armenian ethnicity. It also presents hate speech in the Azerbaijani mass media and social networks. The Report also reveals Azerbaijani high officials and other public persons activities aimed at spreading hate speech and incitement to violence.
    The Report presents the violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law; cases of attacks on civlian population of NKR, cases of inhuman treatment, as well as cases of torture and mutilation of the NKR Defence Army Servicemen.
    The Report will be sent to international human rights organizations, ombudsmen’s international institutions and to respective foreign institutions.
    I would like to thank the human rights NGOs of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh for their assistance in drafting the Report, as well as all mass media representatives that have revealed in their publications the brutal cases of gross human rights violations.
    
    18+ Warning:
    The Report contains pictures and descriptions of brutality and mutilation committed by Azerbaijani military forces. The report reflects pictures largely disseminated in the media.
    
Sincerely,
NKR Human Rights Defender
Shushi, 21.04.2016
   03.04.2016
    On the night of April 1-2 Azerbaijani armed forces have initiated treacherous attack along the contact line with the NKR Defense Army using artillery, armored fighting vehicles and air force equipment, once again revealing the state’s invasive nature.
    Cynically ignoring the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law and adhering to its antagonistic policy, the neighboring country actively uses such a dirty method of military actions condemned by the civilized society as bombardment of civilian objects and residential areas, and as a result, unfortunately, there are dead and injured civilians, including children.
    I call upon the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner, all international organizations dealing with human rights and humanitarian issues, the international community to condemn the barbaric actions of Azerbaijan and to force it to stop it immediately.
   13.11.2014
    Statement on fictitious publications on the criminal proceedings against Sh. Guliyev and D.Askerov posed by the Azerbaijani mass media

    As Human Rights Defender of a sovereign state, as well as a member of the European Ombudsman Institute, I have to express outrage over the fictitious publications and misinformation in a number of Azerbaijani mass media introduced by official and non-official structures, that allegedly the criminal proceedings against Shahbaz Jalal oglu Guliyev and Dilham Gardashkhan oglu Askerov launched at the NKR Court of First Instance of General Jurisdiction on 27 May 2014 are a “show” ordered by the RoA authorities and that the mentioned persons are subjected to torture and ill-treatment. Our opponents’ logic is simple: to divert everyone’s attention from the processes being held in NKR on improving the state, avoiding the comparisons between the state development levels of Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh Republic and their objective evaluation by the international community which would certainly be in our favor.
    We did not expect other response from the neighboring state. Does Azerbaijan not glorify the killer who brutally killed the sleeping Armenian (the notorious fact of Gourgen Margaryan’s decapitation with an ax by Ramil Safarov)? Karen Petrosyan of Armenian nationality with apparent mental disorders who accidently crossed the line and whom the Azerbaijani authorities declared a saboteur, though convinced of the fabricated charge, was barbarously killed instead of fulfilling a public trial. And so, there are a number of proverbial facts of tortures, violence and other inhuman treatment against the ethnic Armenian prisoners of war and peaceful residents by Azerbaijan.
    As to the Azeri dissidents, they execute a bit “literate” judgment upon them, inculpating them with false accusations of political motives (alleged adultery in favor of Armenians, etc.).
    Suffice it to recall the “case” of the known human rights activist Leyla Yunus and her husband who are detained in prison without basic rights observance, of whose protection many human rights organizations and people are concerned and the Ombudsman of this country has not even deemed it necessary to visit them personally.
    Naturally, in the light of the above mentioned, the Azerbaijani authorities, which have committed analogical human rights violations, will not be eager to confess in contrast to Azerbaijan, in NKR a man is not judged for his/her ethnicity, but only for a certain crime maintaining all the rights of the accused globally accepted in the civilized world.
    The same refers to D.Askerov and Sh.Guliyev who are accused in committing crimes prescribed by a number of articles of the NKR Criminal Code, especially Article 316 (espionage), part 2 of Article 350 (crossing the state border under the protection of Nagorno Karabakh Republic by an organized group without proper permit), part 3 of Article 245 (illegal carrying of firearms and ammunition by the organized group), paragraph 1 of part 3 of Article 129 (outright kidnapping using life-threatening violence, weapon carried out upon a minor by an organized group), and D.Askerov is also accused by paragraphs 3, 7, and 14 of part 2 of Article 103 (murder coupled with kidnapping by an organized group motivated by national hatred).
    Let me note that I, personally, as well as through my staff employees monitor the situation of those persons’ rights both in investigatory isolator and throughout the trial, and this is understood and accepted both by our authorities and the public and the victims, including the innocent boy’s parents for whose whose murder one of the defendants is accused.
    The monitoring shows that the trial is being held according to the NKR Law and the universally recognized norms and principles of the international law, all the rights of the defendants are preserved: they have advocates, a translator; they feel free to make statements and various petitions which are considered by the court and proceeded appropriately, besides they enjoy other rights arising from the status of a defendant.
    Regarding the conditions of the investigatory isolation of Sh.Guliyev and D.Askerov, the visits and conversations with them show that they meet the international standards. The defendants do not express any malcontent about the treatment of the isolator’s administration, food, clothing and other living conditions, moreover, they have emphasized that representatives of the NKR International Committee of Red Cross mission periodically visit them through which they can also correspond with their relatives.
    Dear colleagues, please, do not qualify this statement as an attempt to hide or distort the truth, following our opponents’ example, and to present a more favorable situation of the human rights observance in our country in comparison with the real one.
    To verify my representation, each of You or Your representative can fell free to visit our country to monitor the mentioned trial, as well as meet with the defendants.

Yuri Hayrapetyan
    Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh
   08.10.2014
   25.07.2013
    The Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh Yuri Hayrapetyan addressed to three of the four parliamentary advocates of Moldova Anatoliy Muntean, Tamara Plemedyale and Tudor Lazar with the following letter:

    Dear colleagues – parliamentary advocates of the Republic of Moldova,

    As a member of the European Ombudsman Institute, Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh, I am addressing You with the belief that You as officials of the governmental human rights institution of the Republic of Moldova based on the principles concerning the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (Paris principles) and therefore free from political bias will kindly agree to get introduced with the address of Your colleague.
    Like many of You, I did not participate at the activities of the international conference “The European Standards of Rule of Law and the Scope of Discretion of Powers in the member states of the Council of Europe" in Yerevan on July 3-5, 2013 and the details of the speech of the ombudsman Aurelia Grigoriu and the resonance caused by them became known to me from the publications of Armenian, Moldovan and Azerbaijani media, Ms A. Grigoriu’s facebook page and from the press conference convened by her in Chisinau.
    Dear colleagues, although essentially political, provocative speech of the parliamentary advocate the contents of which is based on a distortion of historical facts comprising anti-Armenian statements caused me a deep sense of indignation, I am not going to condemn her and ask to bring to due responsibility as this has already been done by the competent officials of the Republic of Armenia.
    Therefore, as Human Rights Defender of a sovereign state, I have to say that neither norms of international law, nor the Moldovan legislation, nor standards of ethical behavior of an ombudsman allow a public defender for reporting any human rights violations in a completely different state having no mandate to do.
    In this case Ms A. Grigoriu illegally appropriated the right to “illuminate” completely unknown to her human rights situation in Nagorno Karabakh applying false, fictitious details about events allegedly taken place in territories which for the past two decades are under the jurisdiction of NKR.
    As a member of the European ombudsman community, I am no less concerned about the future of the ombudsman institute which due to such behavior of its individual members is at the risk of becoming a political body, thus moving away from the famous Paris principles.
    According to political and even sometimes belligerent statements by the ombudsman of Azerbaijan, this institution has already undergone such transformation in the neighboring state and A.Grigoriu’s speech in the Armenian parliament clearly demonstrates that there is a real threat of the proliferation of its influence upon other territories as well.
    To justify her behaviour, the author more than once, including at the press conference in Chisinau, advised to see the text of her speech pretentiously calling it a “scientific report.”
    Following her advice I looked through her facebook page with the hope to find in the original text if not a justification then at least an objective analysis of the actions of all parties to conflict, scientifically substantiated approaches to conceptualizing of their reasons and essence as well as proposals for overcoming the effects of conflicts, but unfortunately I did not find a hint of the above specified as can be easily seen.
    To put it mildly, the structure of the report itself causes a surprise which the author made up by the following way:
    - introduction, listing of international legal instruments and common concerns related to the observation of human rights – covering about 30 percent of the text,
    - situation in Georgia which has two frozen conflicts – 7-8 percent,
    - situation in home and accordingly more familiar to her Moldova – only 26 percent which did not already fit in the regulations as the author devoted the previous biggest part of her speech to completely unknown to her Nagorno Karabakh – about 35 percent.
    While to “the frozen conflict” itself (the topic), which is referred to as such since spring 1994 to this day, has been devoted only two introductory sentences the essence of which is that Azerbaijani human rights bodies do not have an opportunity to monitor the human rights situation in Nagorno Karabakh.
    I should note that this is the only most objective finding of the rapporteur out of the existing realities.
    Assessment of the human rights and freedoms situation, as well as of the activities of the NKR Ombudsman does not and for no reason cannot depend upon Azerbaijani human rights bodies (including the ombudsman of this country). It shall depend on such official European human rights institutions, international non-governmental organisations and prominent human rights defenders who are really authorized for this and whom the institution headed by me actively cooperates with since the day of its establishment – April 17, 2008, and it would be astonishing if the case took another course. For it is violations of the rights of Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh by Azerbaijan that have been one of the main reasons for the proclamation of the independence of NKR in response to which Azerbaijan launched a large-scale war against Nagorno Karabakh which lasted from autumn 1991 to May 1994.
    Currently the border between the two countries is the front line, and the frequent violations of Azerbaijan of the ceasefire agreement of May 1994 yields new casualties on both sides.
    As for the constant threats by the Azerbaijani authorities to resolve the conflict by force, they are generally known from the media. I think that the persistent volatile situation demands the human rights activists address with appeals for a peaceful and legal resolution of the conflict instead of which the ombudsman A. Grigoriu has been engaged in reciting the losses of one of the belligerents (Azerbaijan) in the war launched by himself wrongly accusing the other side (Armenians) in genocide.
    Dear colleagues, the real motives of such a behaviour are known only to Ms A.Grigoriu and, obviously, to the narrow circle behind the frontline, but whatever they might be, she is obliged to be aware that statements from the rostrum of the European forum can be interpreted by one of the conflicting parties if not as an attempt to call to a new war then, obviously, not a call for peace and understanding of the opponent as well.
    Unfortunately, it was so similar to the aggressive rhetoric of the Azerbaijani ombudsman that involuntarily I have to state that there is a second bellicose ombudsman in the neighbouring state and, I am sorry, but one of the ombudsmen has become less in Moldova. Perhaps Ms A. Grigoriu pretends for the laurels of the notorious Ramil Safarov? Judging by the approving responses from Baku, the case goes to it. But I am concerned not for this, it is far more important that the ombudsman’s words do not become an additional informative occasion for Azerbaijani provocations on the frontline fraught with new human casualties and massive violations of human rights.
    However, I have found a novelty in Ms A. Grigoriou’s report that “…an ombudsman is a totally apolitical entity.” This phrase could have been used by the author as an epigraph of the report.
    Just from the beginning she should have found out the difference between the figure “not political” and “totally apolitical”.
    And in conclusion, dear colleagues, please accept my apologies for perhaps too sharp tone of my appeal and let me assure You that the ombudsman’s institution in NKR is open for mutually beneficial cooperation with the Centre for Human Rights in Moldova for protecting the rights and fundamental freedoms of the citizens of our republics.
    As assurance of the sincerity of my intentions and respect to You, my colleagues, and to all people of the Moldovan Republic, I invite You to visit Nagorno Karabakh at a convenient time for You and to get acquainted with the human rights situation in our country.

    Sincerely,
    Yuri Hayrapetyan
    Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh
   27.02.2012
Address of the NKR Human Rights Defender Yuri Hayrapetyan to members of the European Ombudsman Institute   »Read more
   19.10.2011
 

     On October 18, 2011 the NKR Human Rights Defender Yuri Hayrapetyan met Doctor-Professor of Dublin Law and Management University Donnacha O’Beachain. During the meeting they discussed questions concerning the formation and activity of the NKR Human Rights Defender’s institute as well as other questions.

   10.10.2011
 

     The NKR Human Rights Defender Yuri Hayrapetyan participated in the international conference organized by the European Ombudsman Institute on “Everyday work of Ombudsmen, problems and exchange of experience”, which took place at the University of Novi Sad, Republic of Serbia. The ombudsmen of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Russian Federation, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and other countries also participated in the conference.

     On the second day of the arrangement took place the General Assembly of the EOI members, during which the accounts about the activity of the board of institute and its members’ elections were being listened to.

     Burgi Volgger (Italy) was re-elected as the president of the European Ombudsman Institute, and as the General Secretary Joseph Ziegele. During the conference and the meeting the NKR Human Rights Defender had working meetings with the newly elected leaders of the institute, as well as with his colleagues from many countries.

   16.08.2011

     On August 16, 2011 the NKR Human Rights Defender Yuri Hayrapetyan guided by the NKR law on “Human Rights Defender” Article 7, part 4, had a meeting in the special session of the NKR National Assembly concerning the questions below:

  • To make changes and additions in the NKR law on “Institutions on local government”,
  • Make changes in the NKR Electoral Code.

     The Defender praised the fact that the National Assembly tries to eliminate a provision that contradicts to the norms of International Human Rights Law and the NKR Constitution found in the pointed laws, according to which the head of the community should have at least vocational or higher education.

     He outlined that the provision limits the eligibility of those without higher education and, in fact it establishes a discrimination. In his speech the Defender also explained that the provision contradicts to Article 12, part 3 of the NKR Constitution which does not contain such restrictions.

     Yuri Hayrapetyan also pointed that in recent two years he tried to neutralize as far as possible the above mentioned impact containing danger to the human rights guided by the NKR Constitution, Article 7, according to which the Constitution has higher legal force, and its norms act directly.

     During this period two persons applied to him, who as candidates for the heads of the community, had not been registered (for the above mentioned reasons) in the NKR Dashushen and Lusa communities in Askeran region.

     After the Defender’s written explanation of the anti-constitutional condition under the consideration, the mentioned persons were registered as candidates, participated in the elections, and they were elected as the heads of the communities.

     The Defender also pointed that despite these provisions of the laws initially did not have a legal force thus contradicting to the Constitution, they made a confusion in the legal field.

      Yet, in the year of 2009 the Defender expressed regret in his report that till today bodies with legislative initiative have not touched upon this problem despite the Defender’s suggestion to eliminate the discussed provision presented in his annual report.

     Concluding his report the Defender called the NKR National Assembly deputies to vote in favor of the bills under the consideration, according to which the articles carrying human rights violations will be of no force and he drew the deputies’ attention to the investigation of the Defender’s annual reports and the necessity of their respond.

   01.08.2011
  

Issues raised and resolved during the visit in Shushi penitentiary institution

     On July 5, 2011 the staff of the NKR Human Rights Defender had a visit in Shushi penitentiary institution. During the visit one of the prisoners asked to help him to meet with his three children who are in “Children care and protection boarding institution” in Berdzor. According to the agreement acquired beforehand between Shushi penitentiary institution and “Children care and protection boarding institution N 2,” on August 1, 2011 was arranged a meeting of the 3 teenagers with their father in a special room for meetings in Shushi penitentiary institution.

   08.07.2011

     By the assignment of the Defender the employees of the NKR Human Rights Defender's office visited Vazgenashen, Norshen and Hatsi communities in Martuni region. They launched a series of visits during which the villagers raised various questions.

     The villagers of Vazgenashen informed that in the year of 2002 they signed an agreement with the board of administration of Martuni region on resettlement for five years (the sample of the agreement is attached). As noted in the agreement, after the expiry of it, the board of administration ought to privatize the homes free of charge intended for the migrants, giving them certificate of ownership. Still after the expiry of the agreement the homes were not privatized, moreover the board of administration of the region prolonged the term of the unilateral agreement for another five years.

     We find it expedient to make an inquiry about the raised question to the NKR Ministry of Social Security in order to obtain clarifications.

     One of the villagers – Ayvazyan, said that he has got eleven children. As he says, his house needs to be repaired. He had repeatedly appealed to the board of administration of the region but did not get any answer up to now. It was clarified on the spot that no state repair program enacts concerning the already allocated houses of the migrants.

     The villagers also raised the question of gasification. In the year of 2005 the general gasification project was carried in the village, yet 21 houses out of 65 were not included into the project, and there is no gasification at present. They repeatedly appealed to the appropriate authorities but in vain.

     We suggest raising this issue before the competent bodies requiring to clarify the reason of not gasificating the above mentioned 21 houses.

     One of the villagers – Grigoryan, said that he had made a contribution in VTB bank, but could not return his money up to date. He was suggested on the spot to appeal to court against VTB Armenian Bank.

     The heads of Vazgenashen and Norshen communities informed that «Maksid» Ltd hired 209 and 206 hectare arable land. As «Maksid» Ltd didn't use the land in recent year, and the villagers did not have enough arable land, so they asked to annual the agreement on arable land rent signed between «Maksid» Ltd and Martuni board of administration.

     We advised the heads of the communities to appeal to court to annual the agreement.

     The head of Norshen community also informed that he applied to court where it was decided that «Maksid» Ltd was pledged to pay 1,677,000 AMD. In November, 2010 a writ was presented to the Compulsory Execution of Judicial Acts Service but the service did not exact this sum till the day of meeting him.

     We find it expedient to discuss the above mentioned question and to make an inquiry to the Compulsory Execution of Judicial Acts Service for further clarifications.

     The villagers of Norshen informed that on May 31, 2009 in the result of high – tension current different utility goods are out of use. Until now the damage is not reimbursed.

     As this question had formerly been raised, we find it necessary to remind the competent bodies once again the necessity of requiting the material damage to the villagers mentioned above.

     There were no complaints in Hatsi village, as considers the head of the community, now it is working season, so the villagers are engaged with their economic problems.

     The head of the community said that there is a problem with drinking water. He asked to render financial assistance for the resolution of the problem.

     During the visit we accepted eight people.

   06.07.2011

     The staff of the Human Rights Defender implemented analogical and judicial analysis of the NKR Criminal, Civil and Administrative Codes in terms of compliance with the NKR Constitution and other laws. The result of the analysis showed that a number of provisions concerning the human rights do not coincide with the Constitution. They include contradictions with inner and other laws.

     Taking into account the fact that the above mentioned creates a possible damage to the judicial protection of human rights violations, the results of the analysis found through legislative initiatives in order to eliminate the shortcomings, were sent by the Defender to the working group of the Reforming Judicial System at the NKR President, as well as to the NKR National Assembly and the Government.

     The information on the whole is set in the section «Activities» of the website.

   05.07.2011

     On July 5, 2011 the staff of the NKR Human Rights Defender by the assignment of the Defender visited the police penitentiary institution at the NKR Government with the purpose of checking the state of prisoners’ rights, their sanitary hygienic and other conditions.

     During the visit it was found that the number of people in penitentiary institution carrying punishment in the reformatory establishment is 31, in partly-closed 55, in half open 70 prisoners.

     According to the head of the institution, the present building is overloaded with prisoners. The present problem of discrepancy will be resolved by repairing the new out of exploitation subsidiary building, the work of which is already begun.

     As expressed by the prisoners, the sanitary hygienic conditions in the penitentiary institution are satisfactory.

     Besides the visit to the penitentiary institution, we also had a meeting with prisoners, during which nine of them raised different questions. As the visit was of an advisory kind, the prisoners’ questions were clarified on the spot giving them corresponding judicial advice.

     Questions of deeper examination are clarified in the staff by the employees.

   03.03.2011
    Congratulation message to the RA Ombudsman Karen Andreasyan

     Please accept my cordial congratulations on Your being elected the Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia.

     I am sure that Your office will promote the future increase of the level of the RA human rights protection, and I wish You fruitful results in this important and responsible work.

     Expressing my readiness to cooperate I hope that we will manage with joint efforts the development of the cooperation established during the last 3 years between the Ombudsman Institutions of two Armenian countries.



    NKR Human Rights Defender
    Yuri Hayrapetyan
   02.02.2011

     On February 2, 2011, the Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh convened a press conference summarizing the results of activities of the year of 2010. The Defender presented the statistics of the staff admitted appeals during the year of 2010 according to their regions and plots. It was noted that in the year of 2010 about 243 people applied to the NKR Human Rights Defender, and violated rights of 36 people were restored. The NKR Human Rights Defender Yuri Hayrapetyan, indicated that in the mentioned period problems raised by the inhabitants mainly concerned the activities of judicial authorities, social security and safety issues, legal work relationships, clarifications on housing legislation and insurance of housing and utility services.

   21.12.2010
On December 10, 2010 the Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh signed the partnership agreement between the Human Rights Defenders of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and the Transdniestrian Moldovan Republics. According to it the ombudsmen signed an additional agreement and the protocol of the partnership agreement.
   21.12.2010

     On December 10, 2010 in Transdniestrian State University named after T. G. Shevchenko took place a scientific-practical conference on “Development of Human Rights Institution in self-determined states” dedicated to the Human Rights International Day.

     The participants of the conference discussed the issues concerning the activity of Human Rights and Freedom Institution, the present situation, prospects for development and improvement of their protection mechanisms in self-determined states.

     At the conference the NKR Human Rights Defender Yuri Hayrapetyan spoke on “The history of the establishment and the development of the Ombudsman Institution and the influence of non-state recognized NKR factor on some fields of its activity.”

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