South Caucasus Network of Human Rights Defenders

Saytda axtarış
Reports on Human Rights Practices Armenia:
Armenia is a constitutional republic with a population of approximately 3.2 million. The constitution provides for an elected president and a unicameral legislature (the National Assembly). The country has a multiparty political system. The significantly flawed February 2008 presidential election and violent break-up of ensuing protests that resulted in 10 deaths continued to fuel a political crisis that remained largely unresolved during the year and resulted in numerous human rights abuses. In April 2008 Serzh Sargsian of the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) was sworn in as president, replacing Robert Kocharian. In the National Assembly, the RPA continued to dominate the ruling coalition, which decreased from four parties to three on April 27, when the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutiun) resigned from the coalition citing differences over the conduct of foreign policy. Civilian authorities generally maintained effective control of the security forces, although some members of the security forces continued to commit human rights abuses with impunity while under the direction of civilian leadership.

Authorities restricted the right of citizens to freely change their government in mayoral elections in Yerevan. During the year authorities subjected citizens, particularly those considered by the government to be political opponents, to arbitrary arrest, detention, and imprisonment for their political activities; lengthy pretrial detention also continued to be a problem. Authorities continued to use harassment and intrusive application of bureaucratic measures to intimidate and retaliate against political opponents. Authorities used force to disperse political demonstrations and constrain citizens seeking to publicize them. Police beat pretrial detainees and failed to provide due process in some cases. The National Security Service (NSS) and police acted with impunity in committing alleged human rights abuses. In spite of renovations and new construction, prison conditions remained cramped and unhealthy. Authorities denied citizens the right to a fair trial. News outlets, especially in the broadcast media, practiced a high degree of self-censorship, and authorities continued to restrict media pluralism, including through a moratorium on renewal of broadcasting licenses. There were multiple attacks against journalists, and the government rarely identified or prosecuted perpetrators. Authorities restricted freedom of assembly, rejecting numerous applications filed by political opponents to hold demonstrations at requested venues, and often prevented spontaneous assembly by citizens. Corruption remained widespread, and authorities did not make determined efforts to combat it. Authorities and laws restricted religious freedom. Violence against women and spousal abuse, trafficking in persons, and discrimination against persons with disabilities and homosexual individuals was also reported.

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