Human rights defenders (HRDs) in Armenia continued to operate in a difficult political and advocacy environment in 2011 and 2012. The atmosphere of citizen distrust, disappointment and indifference towards the country’s legal system, which initially was a result of the protests and clashes following the 2008 presidential election, persisted during the reporting period. Civil society continued to be marginalized in the process of governance and the government did not encourage defenders’ activities or participation in the political process. During the reporting period, the government also failed to implement recommendations from various international bodies, including the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of HRDs. The government also did not seek to fulfill all of the human rights obligations that it assumed in its partnership agreement with the Council of Europe in 1999, especially those concerning the rule of law. The judiciary continued to need reforms in order to ensure access to justice for all citizens and to guarantee the right to a fair trial, issues that the European Parliament highlighted in its 2012 recommendations to Armenia.
This report is part of a joint report of the South Caucasus Network of Human Rights Defenders that covers the situation of human rights defenders in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Full version of the report is available here.