Human Rights Ombudsman appoints Head of Department and AdviserBy the decree of the AR Human Rights Ombudsman Ruben Melikyan, Artak Beglaryan has been appointed Head of Department of the Staff. By another decree, the Ombudsman has appointed Babken DerGrigoryan as an Adviser. Under the new AR Law on Human Rights Ombudsman, enacted on February 1, 2018, the Ombudsman staff is divided into two structural units – the Department and Secretariat. The Department will provide the content part of the Ombudsman’s activities, and the Secretariat will carry out the technical support. In addition to content and structural changes, the new law also allows the Ombudsman to have up to 5 advisers on a pro bono and voluntary basis.
Below are the biographies of Artak Beglaryan and Babken DerGrigorian: Artak Beglaryan is a specialist in politics and public administration. Since 2012 he has been working as Assistant, then as Press Secretary to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Artsakh, and in the recent months - as Advisor to the State Minister. He currently studies at the National Defense Research University of the Defense Army of the Republic of Armenia for a PhD Degree. He holds a Master Degree from the University College London in Politics, Security and Integration. He also studied at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, USA, specializing in Public Policy and Administration, as well as, at the Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, Greece, with a specialization in Business Management with the EU Erasmus Mundus student exchange program. He holds an Undergraduate Degree from the Department of Political Science, Yerevan State University. Beglaryan has participated in a number of international conferences and has published academic articles. He has been involved in civic activities for years joining and managing various non-governmental organizations.
Babken DerGrigorian is an economist and international development consultant, with an area focus on the South Caucasus. He currently serves as the founding executive director of the Artsakh Human Rights Foundation – an organization dedicated to improving the protection of fundamental human rights in Artsakh. DerGrigorian has consulted for a number of international human rights organizations and development agencies, including The HALO Trust, Transparency International, and the United Nations Development Program. In addition, he has worked as a programs coordinator for the Open Society Foundations in Armenia. DerGrigorian holds two masters degrees from the London School of Economics, in Political & Development Economics and Political Communication, respectively. He also holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Public Affairs from UCLA.
Ruben Melikyan met with Lars Adaktusson, European Parliament MP andmember of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
On January 23, 2017 Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Artsakh Ruben Melikyan met with the delegation led by Lars Adaktusson, European Parliament MP, and member of Committee on Foreign Affairs. Representative of the Hay Dat European Committee Ashkhen Fiksova participated in the meeting.
During the meeting R.Melikyan presented the main directions of activities of the AR Human Rights Ombudsman’s institution, general situation of human rights and responded to the guests’ questions.
The Ombudsman touched upon the cruelty committed by Azerbaijan during the April war, as well as the reforms emerged as a result of 2017 Constitutional referendum. At the end of the meeting, R.Melikyan underlined the importance of cooperation with the international human rights community noting that strengthening of ties would promote the improvement of the human rights situation in Artsakh.
A legal clinic was opened with the Ombudsman’s support
On November 1, with Ruben Melikyan’s support, a legal clinic was launched in Artsakh State University as a result of cooperation between Artsakh State University, Yerevan State University Faculty of Law and Armenian Bar Association (USA). Under the supervision of experienced lawyers, the clinic students will provide free legal aid to citizens of the Republic of Artsakh. The reception is open for public on working days at 14:00 – 18:00.
The Ombudsman met with the delegation of parliamentarians from the USA California state in Artsakh
On December 8, the Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Artsakh met with the delegation of the USA California state parliamentarians in Artsakh. Ruben Melikyan introduced the guests the status and activities of the Human Rights Ombudsman’s institution of the Republic of Artsakh, including the fact-finding results of the 2016 April war. At the guests’ request, the human rights issues in Artsakh and ways of their solution were discussed. The Ombudsman underlined that, unfortunately, international human rights communitydoes not pay sufficient attention to the human rights issues in unrecognized states the consequences of which influence Artsakh citizens as well. At the same time, Melikyan also presented the positive tendencies in that issue.
The Ombudsman announced the second annual human rights competition dedicated to Zabel Yesayan’s heritage
On September 1, the Day of Knowledge and Education, during an event organized by Tufenkyan Benevolent Foundation at the secondary school after the name of Zabel Yesayan in the village of Arajamugh, Hadrut, Artsakh Human Rights Ombudsman announced the 2nd Republican Student Essay Contest on Human Rights in which can participate students of 9-12th grade from all over the schools of Artsakh.
The Ombudsman visited Talish village with the Canadian MPs and human rights activistOn August 31, AR Human Rights Ombudsman Ruben Melikyan, Canadian MPs Tony Clementon and Rachael Harder, One Free World International human rights organization President Majed el-Shafi and the representative of the Canadian Hay Dat Group Sevak Pelian paid a visit to Talish village.
The Canadian delegation got acquainted with the facts of atrocities committed by the Azerbaijani armed forces during the April war of 2016, which had been recorded through fact-finding activities of the Artsakh Ombudsman’s institution.
The Ombudsman received a group of international delegatesOn July 18 2017, Artsakh Republic Human Rights Ombudsman received the co-chairs of the International Working Group for the Release of Prisoners and Hostages and the Tracing of Missing Persons in Karabakh Conflict Svetlana Ganushkina, Paata Zaqareishvili and Bernhard Clasen.
R.Melikyan introduced the situation of the AR Republic Human Rights Ombudsman’s institution, its activities, particularly, the results of the April war fact-finding results.
On the request of the Group’s members, the Ombudsman, within the frame of his mandate as provided by the AR Law, provided them with an opportunity to examine the materials of the criminal case on D.Askerov and Sh.Guliyev sentenced by the Artsakh Republic courts for a number of crimes, to get acquainted with the terms of punishment of the mentioned convicts, as well as to visit them them at Shushi penitentiary institution. The co-chairs of the Group were thankful for the opportunity.
The Ombudsman visited CaliforniaOn June 9-14, Artsakh Human Rights Ombudsman visited California at the invitation of the Armenian Bar Association. On June 9-11, R.Melikyan took part in the 28th annual conference of the Association within the framework of which a panel discussion on the human rights situation in Artsakh took place. The speakers were R.Melikyan, Chairwoman of the Hay Dat office of the US Western Coast Nora Hovsepyan, and Los Angeles Deputy Prosecutor Emmy Ashvanyan. Specific programs of involvement in Artsakh human rights protection by the professional bodies of Diaspora were discussed.
On June 13, R.Melikyan had a public meeting with the representatives of Armenian community at Glendale Armenian Youth Alliance Hall, which was held in an interview format with Ara Khachatryan, editor of “Asparez” daily newspaper. In the end of the meeting R.Meliqyan answered the questions of the audience.
On June 14, R.Melikyan accompanied by the head of the Armenian Rights Committee (ARC) Garo Ghazaryan, visited Glendale City Police Department and detention facilities attached to it, as well as the Municipality, got acquainted with the human rights protection mechanisms at the police, and attended the Civil Service Council meeting at the Municipality.
On the invitation of the newly established Artsakh Human Rights Foundation, R.Melikyan took part in the round-table discussion organized by the Foundation during which an agreement of strategic cooperation between the Foundation and Artsakh Human Rights Ombudsman was achieved. R.Melikyan emphasized that he considers the Foundation’s establishment as a peculiar response by the Diaspora to the policy of individual human rights structures aimed at avoiding implementation of programs in Artsakh.Thanks to the Special Foundation to Support Human Rights Guarantee, it will be possible for Artsakh citizens to implement the programs that are not available temporarily.
The Ombudsmanpresented 2016 Annual Report on Activities at the National Assembly sitting
On April 20, at the plenary session of the National Assembly of Artsakh Republic, Human Rights Ombudsman Ruben Melikyan presented the 2016 Annual Report on activities of HRD institution and the situation of human rights in the country.
The Ombudsman visited № 11 High School
On April 18, on the initiative of Stepanakert № 11 High School Directorate, a meeting of Human Rights Ombudsman Ruben Melikyan was held with the students.
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