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Human Rights Watch: World Report 2015, Armenia

World Report 2015 published by Human Rights Watch is its 25th annual review of human rights practices around the globe. It summarizes key human rights issues in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide. The report reflects extensive investigative work that Human Rights Watch staff undertook in 2014, usually in close partnership with human rights activists in the country in question.

According to the report, Armenia’s human rights record remained uneven in 2014. Authorities continued to interfere with peaceful protests. Torture and ill-treatment in custody remained a problem, and investigations are ineffective, even when opened. Journalists continued to face pressure and violence. Violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity are serious problems. The government has yet to lift unnecessary restrictions on access to pain medications for people with terminal illnesses.

The report mostly focuses on the issues, such as freedom of assembly, torture and ill-treatment in custody, freedom of expression, alternative military service reform and army abuses, disability rights, palliative care and minority rights.

Minority rights

Local lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists reported that LGBT people continue to face discrimination, harassment, and physical violence. Hate speech against LGBT people, including by public officials, remains a serious issue.

Iravunq newspaper published several online articles calling for LGBT people and organizations working to protect them to be excluded from public life and for their families to shun them. A May 17 article included a “blacklist” of 60 people with links to their social media pages. Several people named in the article requested a retraction, but the paper refused. Sixteen people filed lawsuits for damage to honor and dignity, but a court rejected their claims in October.

Read the full report.