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Letter of Helsinki Association

To:  Secretary General of the Council of Europe
President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Members of the Bureau, Standing and Monitoring Committees of the PACE
CoE High Commissioner for Human Rights


The “Helsinki Association” would like once again to draw your attention to the urgent problems that continue to influence negatively the overall Human Rights situation in Armenia. 
After 2008 Presidential elections and the shooting of peaceful demonstrators it the most urgent demands of the entire International Community, reflected particularly in the relevant PACE resolutions, was the credible, independent investigation on the exact circumstances that led to the said events of 1 March, including the killing of 10 persons, and the demand to release the persons detained on artificial and politically motivated charges

The “Helsinki Association” testifies that after two and half years of promises and different kinds of imitations of the willingness to investigate the exact circumstances of the said events and thus to restore justice, no tangible progress has been achieved in holding to account those who are responsible particularly for the murder of those ten innocent victims, no actual perpetrators of the crime were held to account. Furthermore, the Armenian authorities are repeatedly rejecting the demands of the legal successors of 10 victims to investigate and reveal the killers of their relatives, a number of political prisoners remain in jails and the repressions of political opposition are still going on. The situation and conditions for the prisoners in the penitentiaries while not corresponding to any European standards remain the same. Tortures in police stations and in the army lead to death cases and are not discovered which has become a norm. The courts, implementing the orders of prosecution and authorities don’t carry out justice.

The “Helsinki Association” emphasizes that unpunished violations stimulate the sense of impunity and contribute to their recurrence and believes that the restoration of the rule of law and the protection of human rights anywhere, including Armenia are impossible without the disclosure of the real facts relating to Human Rights violations and without the punishment of those guilty in that violations.  

In the view of the above-mentioned the “Helsinki Association” demands that the PACE Monitoring Committee’s co-reporters in regard of Armenia visit Yerevan as soon as possible and explore thoroughly the compliance of Armenia with its Council of Europe obligations. This is a necessary and well delayed step that would enable the Assembly to include the issue of the functioning of democratic institutions in Armenia on its next session Agenda and will remind to Armenian authorities the seriousness of Monitoring procedure.

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