Draft Resolution Of Committee On The Honouring Of Obligations And Co

DRAFT RESOLUTION OF COMMITTEE ON THE HONOURING OF OBLIGATIONS AND COMMITMENTS BY MEMBER STATES OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE (MONITORING COMMITTEE) ON ARMENIA

ArmInfo
2008-12-18 19:47:00

ArmInfo. The Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments
by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee)
(Co- rapporteurs: Mr Georges COLOMBIER, France, Group of the European
People’s Party, and Mr John PRESCOTT, United Kingdom, Socialist Group)
has issued a draft resolution on Armenia.

According to the PACE web-site the document says:

1. In its Resolution 1620 (2008) on the implementation by Armenia
of Assembly Resolution 1609 (2008), adopted on 25 June 2008, the
Parliamentary Assembly considered that progress had been insufficient,
despite the political will expressed by the Armenian authorities to
address the requirements set up in Resolution 1609 (2008), adopted on
17 April 2008, following the crisis that ensued after the presidential
election of February 2008. The Assembly therefore addressed a series of
concrete demands to the Armenian authorities and resolved to consider
the possibility of suspending the voting rights of the members of the
Armenian parliamentary delegation to the Assembly at its January 2009
part-session, if the requirements set up in Resolutions 1609 and 1620
were not met by then.

2. With regard to the requirement to ensure an independent, impartial
and credible investigation into the events of 1 and 2 March 2008, the
Assembly welcomes the establishment by the President of Armenia, on 23
October 2008, of a "fact-finding group of experts to inquire into the
events of 1-2 March 2008", following a proposal by the Commissioner for
Human Rights of the Council of Europe. It equally welcomes the decision
of the opposition to fully participate in the work of this group.

3. The Assembly stresses, however, that it is the manner in which
this group will conduct its work, as well as the access it will have
to information by the relevant state institutions at all levels,
that will ultimately determine its credibility in the eyes of the
Armenian public. The Assembly therefore:

3.1. calls upon all political forces to refrain from politicising,
or interfering in, the work of this fact-finding group;

3.2. calls upon the Armenian authorities to ensure that the
fact-finding group will be given the fullest possible co-operation by,
and full access to information from, all state bodies and officials,
without exception, including those officials that have left office
or have been replaced since the events on 1 and 2 March 2008; the
fact-finding group should be allowed to obtain any clarification
needed with regard to the arrest, prosecution and conviction of
persons related to the events on 1 and 2 March 2008.

4. The Assembly regrets that limited progress has been made by the
Armenian authorities with regard to its earlier demands, as expressed
in Resolutions 1609 (2008) and 1620 (2008), concerning the release of
persons deprived of their liberty in relation to the events of 1 and 2
March 2008. It notes in particular that, contrary to Assembly demands:

4.1. a significant number of prosecution cases and convictions was
based solely on police testimony, without substantial corroborating
evidence;

4.2. a very limited number of charges under Articles 225 and 300 of
the Criminal Code of Armenia have been dropped.

5. The Assembly notes that doubts have been voiced regarding the nature
of the charges brought under Articles 225 and 300 of the Criminal Code,
as well as with regard to the legal proceedings against those convicted
in relation to the events of 1 and 2 March 2008, including by the
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. The Assembly therefore
considers that there are strong indications that the charges against a
significant number of persons, especially those charged under Articles
225-3 and 300 of the Criminal Code and those based solely on police
evidence, have been politically motivated. It follows that persons
convicted on these charges can be considered political prisoners.

6. The Assembly regrets that the authorities have not so far availed
themselves of the possibility to use all legal means available
to them, such as amnesty, pardons or the dropping of charges, to
release those who were deprived of their liberty in relation to the
events of 1 and 2 March 2008 and did not personally commit acts of
violence or intentionally order, abet or assist the committing of
such acts. It therefore urges the authorities to consider favourably
further opportunities to this end.

7. In these circumstances, the Assembly will continue assessing the
political will of the Armenian authorities to resolve the issue of
persons detained in relation to the events on 1 and 2 March 2008,
in line with earlier Assembly demands.

8. The Assembly expresses its satisfaction with respect to the efforts
made by the Armenian authorities to initiate reforms in several other
areas, as demanded by the Assembly, in particular in the fields of
media, electoral legislation and the judiciary, and calls upon the
authorities to pursue the co-operation developed with the relevant
Council of Europe bodies in these fields. With respect in particular
to media pluralism and freedom, the Assembly:

8.1. welcomes the proposals made with a view to ensuring the
independence of the media regulatory bodies in Armenia and calls upon
the authorities to fully implement the forthcoming recommendations
of the Council of Europe experts in this regard;

8.2. takes note of the adoption of amendments to the Law on Television
and Radio that cancels all tenders for broadcasting frequencies
until 2010, when the introduction of digital broadcasting in Armenia
will have been completed. Without pre-empting the merits of this
decision, the Assembly underlines that the technical requirements
for the introduction of digital broadcasting should not be used by
the authorities to unduly delay the holding of an open, fair and
transparent tender for broadcasting licences, as demanded by the
Assembly.

9. Notwithstanding positive developments in some areas, the Assembly
finds it unacceptable that persons have been charged and deprived of
their liberty for political motivations and that political prisoners
exist in Armenia.

Therefore, despite the positive steps taken towards the establishment
of an independent, transparent and credible inquiry, the Assembly
decides to suspend the voting rights of the members of the Armenian
parliamentary delegation to the Assembly, under Rule 9, paragraphs
3 and 4.c, of the Rules of Procedure, until the Armenian authorities
have clearly demonstrated their political will to resolve the issue of
persons deprived of their liberty in relation to the events of 1 and
2 March 2008, in line with its demands, as expressed in Resolutions
1609 (2008) and 1620 (2008).

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS