Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Armenian authorities accused of human rights abuses (US State Department 2008 Human Rights Report)

Following a damning Human Rights Watch report, the US Department of State has just released its annual Human Rights Report (2008). Agree with Blogian, this report stands out for its unprecedentedly harsh wording accusing the authorities in Armenia of human rights abuses:

The government's human rights record deteriorated significantly during the year, with authorities and their agents committing numerous human rights abuses, particularly in connection with the presidential elections and the government's suppression of demonstrations that followed. Authorities denied citizens the right to change their government freely and citizens were subject to arrest, detention, and imprisonment for their political activities. Authorities used force, at times lethal, to disperse political demonstrations. Authorities used harassment and intrusive application of bureaucratic measures to intimidate and retaliate against government opponents. Police beat pretrial detainees and failed to provide due process in some cases. The National Security Service (NSS) and the national police force acted with impunity for alleged human rights abuses. Authorities engaged in arbitrary arrest and detention.

Prison conditions remained cramped and unhealthy. Authorities imposed arbitrary restrictions on freedom of assembly and the press, particularly through harsh measures imposed during the state of emergency. Journalists continued to practice self-censorship. The government and laws restricted religious freedom. Violence against women and spousal abuse, trafficking in persons, and discrimination against persons with disabilities and homosexuals was also reported. More...

1 comment:

Ani said...

That was depressing reading; the only "bright" spot seemed to be a new special reading room in the library for the visually disabled. I did an unofficial measuring of the Armenia report vs. Azerbaijan on my computer: Armenia took 53 Page-Downs to get to the bottom, Azerbaijan took 38; Denmark was short and sweet with 13.
Russia was last in my sample with 90, but it does have 50 times more people than Armenia.