The Non-Discrimination and Equality Coalition has been closely following the recent discussions about the photograph published by Photo Atelier Marashlyan.

The published family photograph is distinctive in that it portrays a white woman (presumably of Armenian descent) and a black man with their child, all dressed in national Armenian costumes.
The Coalition expresses deep regret that the photograph prompted such turmoil among the public in Armenia. This turmoil and hateful opinions brought about the removal of the photograph from the website of the Photo Atelier, which was considered a victory by individuals expressing such views.

The Coalition expresses further regret that this situation became a pretext for the public to question and criticize the opportunities to exercise an individual’s right to freedom of marriage.

The Non-Discrimination and Equality Coalition states that
– this situation is a manifestation of discrimination on the grounds of race and ethnic origin
– discrimination on the grounds of race and ethnic origin has historically led to disastrous events such as genocide and ethnic cleansing
– modern humanity has long adopted the principle of refraining from discrimination to ensure the full realization of individual rights to dignity and freedom of choice. Possible restrictions on the right to marry are defined by RA Legislation.

The Coalition
– condemns all acts of discrimination, including online
– reminds that the respect for human dignity, free will and the individual’s right to freedom from discrimination are the cornerstones to the formation of a civilized society and that these values are protected by the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia
– urges individuals expressing discriminatory and degrading statements to refrain from such behavior and calls individuals affected by this situation to take legal measures to protect their rights

The Coalition further calls state agencies and the RA Human Rights Defender to respond to such manifestations of discrimination and take relevant action within their authority.

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The Non-Discrimination and Equality Coalition unites organizations and individuals aiming to contribute to the realization and protection of human rights and to promote respect for equality and human dignity in Armenia.
For more information, please visit our website at www.havasar.am.

Coalition Members:
Agate NGO
Real World, Real People NGO
Center for Rights Development
Women’s Resource Center Armenia
Cooperation for Democracy NGO
Helsinki Committee of Armenia
For Equal Rights NGO
Public Information and Need of Knowledge NGO
Society Without Violence NGO
Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office
New Generation Humanitarian NGO
Unison NGO
Vahan Bournazian
Anahit Chilingaryan