February 24, 2015

PACE: Armenian authorities fail to condemn incitement to hatred against LGBT people

Petra DeSutter, Belgian delegate at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has initiated an announcement, which has been signed by 22 delegates regarding the case of 16 citizens against Iravunk newspaper. The authorities have failed to condemn this incitement to hatred and discrimination. On the contrary, on 25 October Mr. Babukhanyan was awarded a medal of honor by the President of Armenia. A law suit against “Iravunk” for defamation was dismissed six days later.

They called upon:
  • Armenia’s delegates to this Assembly, particularly those from the Republican Party, to impress upon colleagues the need to refrain from incitement to hatred and discrimination; 
  • The Armenian authorities to condemn such incitement unreservedly and to put in place measures to implement the Committee of Ministers Recommendation on combating discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. 
On February 4, Hayk Babukhanyan made a statement on PACE resolution urging the Armenian authorities to put pressure on free press and a politician, that PACE’s call jeopardizes the key democracy principles, the freedom of speech and press, and added he expects them to apologize and leave Iravunk newspaper alone.

PINK Armenia has sent letters to various commissions of National Assembly, as well as to the MPs of the Republican Party to find the steps for the follow up of PACE recommendations, but so far no response has been received.

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