Azerbaijan's Acts of Agression Hinder the Democratisation Process in Armenia

06.10.2022

Genya Petrosyan, Director of the LDPF participates in the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meetings in Warsaw. Yesterday she gave a speech on the issues in the judicial system, democratic reform, and security challenges faced by Armenia. She mentioned that although Armenia is on the path of democratic reforms, some processes are too slow and there are also objective reasons for that, first and foremost, serious security challenges faced by Armenia which shift the attention from the reforms agenda to the addressing of primary security needs of people.

So, human rights standards and commitments undertaken in the scopes of the OSCE suppose straightforward assessment of these actions by member states and actual legal consequences for the state committing war crimes and grossly violating human rights.”

The full text is available below.

Lack of independence, internal and external pressures, and corruption in the judiciary were systemic issues in Armenia for years. National and international actors, including the Ombudsman of Armenia, constantly voiced these problems in their statements and reports. Regularly adopted strategies and action plans did not result in substantial changes. Therefore, the «velvet revolution» of 2018 furthermore supposed comprehensive changes in the judiciary since the low level of trust in the justice system was one of the reasons behind the revolution. We are convinced that only the extraordinary vetting procedure of judges will be able to address the existing situation of the judiciary in the short run.

Following the revolution Armenian Government adopted new judicial reforms strategies which also provided for transitional justice tools, including the establishment of the fact-finding commission on the human rights violations. Although Armenia is on the path of democratic reforms, some processes are too slow and there are also objective reasons for that, first and foremost, serious security challenges faced by Armenia which shift the attention from the reforms agenda to the addressing of primary security needs of people.

In particular, the atrocities and gross human rights violations of Armenian population committed by Azerbaijan during the 44-day war against Nagorno Karabakh in 2020 and in the period following the ceasefire, as well as aggression against Armenia in 2021, remained unpunished. This impunity and inadequate response from the international community were amongst the reasons of the large-scale unprovoked aggression initiated by Azerbaijan against the sovereign territory of Armenia on September 13, in flagrant disregard of international law. The aggression of Azerbaijan was accompanied by shelling of civilian population and infrastructure, resulting in over 200 dead or missing Armenian citizens, 5 killed civilians, and hundreds of wounded, thousands of internally displaced people. Torture, ill-treatment, and extrajudicial killings of civilians and prisoners of war, including horrifying scenes of mutilation and torture of women servicemembers in the recent attacks are the continuation of the criminal behavior of Azerbaijan nourished by impunity.

So, human rights standards and commitments undertaken in the scopes of the OSCE suppose straightforward assessment of these actions by member states and actual legal consequences for the state committing war crimes and grossly violating human rights.

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