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Action or inaction by the governmet should be an indicator for the EU

Non-governmental organizations have issued a joint statement addressed to Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia Traian Hristeay, German Ambassador Reiner Morell. The cause of the statement was disruption of Serbian “Parada” movie screening.

Announcement

The third venue, Congress hotel, also refused officially to host the screening of “Parada” movie, which is about LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) rights issues in Serbia. This movie screening is the initiative of the German Embassy and the European Union Delegation to Armenia. The screening was to be part of the events, which the European Union held within the framework of Human Rights Day 2012, presenting themes such as tolerance and non-discrimination.

Any democratic, social, legal state must perceive such violations of human rights, especially the violation of the freedom of expression which includes searching, receiving, spreading information and ideas regardless of what the state limits as acceptable. This is clearly defined by the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia (RA henceforth) and more clearly underlined in series of international documents, according to which RA has a number of obligations to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of any individual. It also has an obligation to protect the effective realization of these rights. RA has made commitments to strengthen the respect for human rights and basic freedoms in the scope of the European Neighborhood Policy which constitutes the basic principles of cooperation between RA and EU. Moreover, the government of RA receives appropriate support, including financial, to implement these reforms.

We, the representatives of the civic society, are worried and angered with the cases of violations of human rights in RA, with the spread of discrimination and intolerance. We request that the government of RA undertakes its commitments and guarantees the carrying out of this event and its safety, provides a proper venue for the public screening of the movie, and for the obstacle-free browsing by the audience.

We find that the steps undertaken, or not undertaken, by the government of RA must be an index for EU showing how well the support and means it provides are directed to the improvement of the state of affairs of human rights. EU must ensure the means it provides are dispensed purposefully, which necessitate the mutual commitment between EU and Armenia to safeguard democracy and protection for human rights, rule of law and other universal values.

Signed by:
Public Information and Need of Knowledge NGO
Women’s Resource Center NGO
Helsinki Association NGO
Sexual Assault Crisis Center NGO
Women’s Support Center NGO
Rule of Law NGO
Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office NGO
Journalists for Human Rights NGO
Youth for Democracy NGO
Open Society Foundations – Armenia
“Asparez” Journalists Club NGO
Shirak Center NGO
New Generation NGO
Guarantee Center of Civil Society NGO
Shahkhatun NGO
Real World, Real People NGO
Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center NGO
Helsinki Committee of Armenia NGO
Democracy Today NGO
Econews Information NGO
Hope NGO
Goris Press Club NGO
The National Citizens’ Initiative NGO
Cooperation for Development NGO
Protection of Rights Without Borders NGO
Cooperation for Democracy NGO
Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression NGO
Womens’ Rights Center NGO