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Local EU Statement on recent expressions of intolerance in the Republic of Armenia

The European Union Delegation issues the following statement in agreement
with the EU Members States Heads of Mission in Armenia

The EU Delegation recalls that human rights apply equally to all human beings and underlines the value of non-discrimination and protection of human rights.

At the same time, the EU Delegation is concerned about recent developments, which endanger non-discrimination and protection of human rights in Armenia. The firebombing of a pub in Yerevan and the subsequent disruption of the Diversity March – both portrayed as an anti-LGBT action by certain radical groups, as well as discriminatory statements from certain politicians and in particular the proliferation of hate speech are worrying.  These developments have sparked a new debate about the extent of discrimination and tolerance in Armenia.

The lack of official condemnation and the perception of ineffective law enforcement have raised concern among Armenian civil society, Human Rights Defenders and international observers. This lack of official reaction has the potential to encourage a sense of impunity in radical groups, and even possibly threaten democratic development.

Armenia has committed itself to the respect of human rights, inter alia, as a member of the Council of Europe, in the EU-Armenia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement of 1999 and in the EU-Armenia Action Plan of 2006

The EU Delegation calls on the Armenian authorities to uphold their commitments to tolerance and non-discrimination in a manner that adequately addresses intolerance as regards homophobia and transphobia.

The EU Delegation welcomes the alignment of Armenia with the Declaration by the EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, on behalf of the European Union on the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia on 17 May 2012.

Yerevan, 25 May 2012.
source:  Delegation of the European Union to Armenia