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. Here is the text of the announcement:
On 17 May 2014 the Armenian newspaper ‘Iravunk’ published an article on its website entitled “They serve the interests of international homo-addiction [sic] lobbying: the blacklist of the country’s and nation’s enemies”. It attacked “homosexual lobbyists” for trying to “aggressively enforce their moral dogma on our country”. Demanding “zero tolerance”, it identified 60 people, calling for them to be ostracized, denied employment and access to the media, and excluded from participation “in the upbringing of younger generations”.
The chair of the ‘Iravunk’ board, Hayk Babukhanyan, is an MP for Armenia’s governing political faction, the Republican Party.
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.
We call 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.