Bright Armenia Party leader elected first vice-chairperson of PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Armenia
Jan 27 2020

19:47, 27.01.2020

Leader of Bright Armenia Party Edmon Marukyan has been elected First Vice-Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, one of the major committees of the PACE. This is what Edmon Marukyan wrote on his Facebook page.

The Facebook post particularly reads as follows:

“Good news from the PACE

Today I was elected First Vice-Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, one of the major committees of the PACE. The chairperson of the Committee has 3 deputies.

I was nominated by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE). The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights consists of 91 members who represent the national parliaments of 47 Council of Europe member states. The Committee has 3 sub-committees.”

Citizens of Armenia warned against visiting China

Public Radio of Armenia
Jan 27 2020

Armenian ombudsman slams Yerevan councilman’s move against Hrayr Tovmasyan’s daughter

Panorama, Armenia
Jan 27 2020
Law 13:07 27/01/2020 Armenia

Armenia’s Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) Arman Tatoyan has strongly condemned the move of Yerevan City Council member Henrik Hartenyan against Armenian top court head Hrayr Tovmasyan's daughter.

ArmDaily reported that Henrik Hartenyan, who represents the ruling My Step faction in the City Council, posted a photo of Sara Tovmasyan user in a Facebook story, adding that the account belongs to the daughter of Constitutional Court Chairman Hrayr Tovmasyan.

“Period, folks!” he added to the story.

“In general, I strongly urge anyone holding public office to clearly understand his/her official status and act exclusively within that status, displaying a proper conduct. You are restricted to your official status,” the ombudsman said in a statement.

“No one has the right to target [an official’s] family life and especially children whether or not the case refers to the official's family.

“I urge our compatriots using social media to show respect for each other, respect each other's opinion, dignity, personal and family life,” Tatoyan said.

In a statement on Sunday, the My Step faction said it “strongly condemns any manifestation of hate speech.”

“Please accept our apologies for the incident. Tomorrow, the My Step faction of the Yerevan City Council will convene an emergency meeting, after which it will issue a statement,” the statement read. 

Defense Minister calls for not losing vigilance for a second

Panorama, Armenia
Jan 27 2020

Politics 18:18 27/01/2020Armenia

Thanks to the efforts of military political leadership of the country and the actions of the Armed Forces the situation on the frontline has been relatively stable in 2019, Defense Minister Davit Tonotyan stated on Monday at the meeting of the advisory board of the minister of defence

The minister added that the Armed Forces should not weaken vigilance for a second and exert additional efforts to strengthen the combat readiness of the Armed Forces and ensure the inviolability of the borders.

As the press department at the ministry reported in a press statement, the meeting of the advisory board addressed results pertaining to combat and mobilization training in the 2019 academic year, guarding, operative and combat training of troops and headquarters as well as the current state of military discipline.

The Head of the Chief of Staff of Armenia's Armed Forces Artak Davtyan presented report on activities realized in 2019, summing up the main achievements and problems registered in the indicated period.

Armenia FM receives Kansas Army National Guard delegation, Armenia
Jan 27 2020

18:12, 27.01.2020

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan today received the delegation led by Adjutant General of the Kansas Army National Guard, commander of the Army National Guard, Major General Lee Tafanelli.

As reported the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, greeting the guests, with satisfaction, Minister Mnatsakanyan underscored the participation of the US representational delegation in the events dedicated to Armenian Army Day.

The interlocutors exchanged views on the US-Armenia strategic dialogue and emphasized the importance of implementation of the agreements reached through that dialogue. The parties indicated the development and expansion of decentralized cooperation as a key component of the bilateral agenda, the best example of which is the cooperation that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia established with Kansas in 2003. They also expressed willingness to take joint steps in already traditional directions, including peacekeeping and military medicine and, in this context, Armenia’s foreign minister highly appreciated the US government’s significant contributions to the strengthening of Armenia’s peacekeeping capacities.

Yerevan councilman Henrik Hartenyan to step down

Panorama, Armenia
Jan 27 2020

Politics 15:38 27/01/2020 Armenia

Henrik Hartenyan, a member of the Yerevan City council representing the ruling My Step faction, will resign, another My Step councilman Armen Yeghiazaryan told reporters on Monday following an emergency meeting of the faction.

The announcement comes after Hartenyan posted a photo of Sara Tovmasyan, the alleged daughter of Constitutional Court Chairman Hrayr Tovmasyan, in a Facebook story, writing: "This is the Facebook account of  H. Tovmasyan's daughter. Folks, forward!" 

“Yesterday the faction issued a statement condemning the incident. During today’s discussion the faction members reaffirmed their position on the issue that it is not in line with our system of values and goes against our principles. Adhering to these principles, we asked Mr. Hartenyan to lay down his mandate. He agreed," he said.

When asked how he justified his move, Yeghiazaryan replied: “I think that is not so important now; the motives, the reasons and the explanations are not important. Let me not raise them, I think he himself can coffer comments. Eventually, the reasons were not the matter, but the phenomenon,” the councilmember said. 

In a statement on Sunday, the My Step faction said it “strongly condemns any manifestation of hate speech" and pomised to issue a statement after an emergency meeting on Monday.

Armenia comments on implementation period following Brexit, Armenia
Jan 27 2020

16:49, 27.01.2020

The Armenian government is ready to grant reciprocal rights to the UK during the implementation period, spokesperson for the Armenian Foreign Ministry Anna Naghdalyan said in a statement commenting on Brexit.

“In accordance with the revised Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration agreed at the European Council on 17 October 2019, the UK and the EU concurred that existing international agreements would continue to apply for the duration of the transition period from the entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement until the end of December 2020.  

The Government of the Republic of Armenia fully supports this continuity and is ready to grant reciprocal rights to the UK during the implementation period, having in mind the need to ensure stability and certainty in relations with the UK until the end of 2020,” the statement reads.

TI’s Corruption Perception Index 2019: Georgia holds strong, Armenia soars

JAM News
Jan 27 2020

Transparency International says Georgia is the leader in the fight against corruption in the region, while Armenia is ahead of China and things are better in Azerbaijan than in Russia

Transparency International has published its Corruption Perception Index for 2019. 

Since 1995, this report has been compiled on the basis of a survey of business owners and experts on a 100-point scale, with 0 being the worst score.  

In 2019, 180 countries were assessed, divided into six regions.

The best among them in the fight against corruption were the countries of the European Union and Western Europe, with an average score of 66. 

Sub-Saharan Africa scored the lowest, with 32 points. 

The regions of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, to which Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia belong, was just a little ahead in the world regional ranking fifth of the six regions, with 35 points. 

Among all the countries covered by the Transparency International report, the best results were shown by New Zealand (87 points) and Denmark with Finland (each 86 points). 

The worst indicators were in Syria (13 points), South Sudan (12 points) and Somalia (9 points). 

In their region (Eastern Europe and Central Asia), the three leaders are Georgia (56 points) and Belarus and Montenegro (each 45 points). All three countries received a rating that is above the world average.

The last places in the region was Turkmenistan (19 points) and Uzbekistan with Tajikistan (each 25 points).

Azerbaijan received the same 31 points as in 2018, without showing any progress.  But at the same time it overtook countries such as Russia, Iran and Ukraine.

Armenia scored 42 points – 7 more than a year ago. Transparency International believes that after the change of power in 2018, the country has good chances for positive changes in the fight against corruption. At the same time, China was left behind with 40 points.

The biggest disappointment in this region is Turkey, with 39 points.  Over the past 7 years, Turkey has lost 10 points in the anti-corruption rating.

The main problems of the region to which the countries of the South Caucasus belong, Transparency International believes to be: 

•Conflict of interest

•Opaque party funding

•Weak separation of powers

On a global scale, according to the organization, stagnation or even regression is taking place in the fight against corruption. The source of the difficulties remains the same: the merging of money and political power.

According to Transparency International, Georgia is the leader in the fight against corruption in the region. Armenia is ahead of China, things are better in Azerbaijan than in Russia

Armenia NGO president: Health minister casts his secret decision on provincial governors, Armenia
Jan 27 2020

13:29, 27.01.2020

YEREVAN. – The Minister of Health of the Republic of Armenia (RA), Arsen Torosyan, casts his secret decision to close maternity hospitals on the provincial governors. Nune Avanesyan, President of “Paratselsus” NGO, said this at a press conference today.

"RA Health Minister Arsen Torosyan responded with a letter to [opposition] PAP MP Arman Abovyan, and said that the process of closing maternity hospitals by the RA Ministry of Health cannot be carried out, as the founders of the provincial medical institutions are the provincial governors' offices," she said. “That is to say, Mr. Torosyan openly declares that the closure process does not apply to him, it applies to the provincial governors' offices and community leaders. In that case, I want to understand with what principle Mr. Torosyan is announcing that they will be shut down, and I want to understand how the provincial governors will respond to this answer. It is also said that the expenses of these medical centers should be borne by the provincial governors' offices, as they are the founders. Now I want you to concentrate, dear Mr. Torosyan: Who will solve this issue? The provincial governors' offices or the Ministry of Health?”

According to the president of the NGO, if the provincial governors' offices are going to solve this issue, she thinks that the provincial governors will be more competent and concerned for their residents, and they will do their best so that these medical centers continue to work.

Armenia Ombudsman: Holocaust, Armenian Genocide are one of most terrible crimes committed against humanity, Armenia
Jan 27 2020

14:16, 27.01.2020

YEREVAN. – January 27 is the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. I express my support to the Jewish community in Armenia and wish endurance of the spirit to the heirs of the Holocaust survivors. Armenia’s Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) Arman Tatoyan issued a statement about this.

"The Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide are one of the most terrible crimes ever committed against humanity," he said, in particular. "Condemning the genocides and giving them a proper assessment is a key issue in preventing such crimes, and as a symbol of respect to the memory of innocent victims."

He added that this photo is that of the Yerevan monument to the Holocaust and Genocide victims, and its two columns symbolize the similarity of the fates of Armenians and Jews.