CoU Human Rights Commissioner Meets NA Speaker



Armenian National Assembly Speaker Tigran Torosian received today
Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg. At the
meeting present were special representative of the Council of Europe
secretary general Bojana Urumova, and Swedish expert Yohan Hirshfeldt.

Public relations department of the National Assembly told Armenpress
that T. Torosian greeted the guests and gave a short outline of the
conducted work underscoring the changes made in the law on marches,
meetings, rallies, demonstrations. He said Armenia is resolute in
going forward with the path expected by the new resolution of PACE.

Referring to September 11 report, Thomas Hammarberg pointed out three
issues to which it will refer – conduction of meetings, marches and
demonstrations, investigation of the March 1-2 events, and issues on
the arrested people.

Th. Hammarberg noted that in the PACE resolution as well the changes
in the law are assessed positively. During the meeting with the
representatives of the opposition Hammarberg heard complaints not
about the law but how it is commented and put into effect which almost
makes it impossible to get permission for conducting meetings.

Th. Hammarberg said that with the chief prosecutor of Armenia they
discussed a number of issues relating to the arrested people and in
this respect referred to the activity of the parliamentary ad hoc
commission which is dealing with the inquiry into March 1-2 events
and the causes which brought to them. He said that the work of the
commission must be transparent and inspire trust.

The Council of Europe human rights commissioner suggested that the
commission separates the fact-finding mission for forming an unbiased
chronology of the events after which the political assessment will
be given to it.

He expressed concern that the activity of the commission became hostage
of the political factors and that the opposition is not participating
in its works.

Tigran Torosian said that the opposition just do not want to cooperate
and stated from the beginning that the commission cannot inspire trust
and forwarded ultimatums which do not promote the establishment of
dialogue or revealing of what happened.

The speaker underscored the necessity of involvement of international
experts in the work of the commission which will ensure objectiveness
and inspire trust.

Referring to the other suggestion of Hammarberg connected with the
creation of separate fact finding mission he said that the suggestion
will be discussed.