Thursday, 24 July 2008

Stark warning from PACE to Armenian authorities: Make progress, or face consequences (“scandal”)

“We need for this date [11 September] guarantees that the [PACE] resolutions can be implemented”. If there would be no progress observed in Armenia till 11 September, Armenia would face scandalous situation in the Council of Europe with catastrophic consequences for the country, and much sooner than January 2009 deadline.

*The president of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), Luis Maria de Puig, speaking today with Radio Liberty (Armenia).


artmika said...

I made this post after Radio Liberty's mid-afternoon radio broadcast. Now they published a comprehensive report on the issue here.

artmika said...

Stark warning to Armenian authorities issued by PACE president Luis Maria de Puig during his recent visit to Armenia has been formalised in official PACE press release:

Armenia: promises should be followed by concrete measures, says PACE President

The release of people detained following the events of 1 and 2 March is important to start the badly needed process of reconciliation in Armenian society. “It should be clear that the detention of people in relation to those events, other than those who committed grave violent crimes, is unacceptable to the Assembly. I therefore urge the authorities to use every means available to them to release these people as soon as possible. Only in this way can the process of reconciliation and dialogue be assured.” said Mr de Puig. The President of PACE also expressed his concern about the continued pre-trial detention of a number of opposition leaders, contrary to the request of the Assembly. “This is an issue that should be urgently resolved in the coming weeks” he declared.

In relation to the independent inquiry, it is clear that without the participation of the opposition that supports Mr Ter Petrossian in the Commission set up by the National Assembly, its work and findings will not meet the standards of impartiality and credibility demanded by the Assembly. The President of the Assembly therefore fully supported the proposals of Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammerberg to constitute a separate commission, based on parity and consensus and with the involvement of international experts, to establish the facts with regard to the events of 1 and 2 March. The President of PACE noted with satisfaction that these proposals are in principle acceptable to both authorities and opposition.

The PACE President stressed that the Armenian authorities should not wait until January to achieve tangible results on these two issues. It is important that the authorities send a clear signal to the Assembly of marked and irreversible progress before the next meeting of the Monitoring Committee in September; otherwise there is a serious risk of repercussions during the autumn session of the Assembly. [...]