"Yerkir" Union’s Statement Regarding An Article In "Azerbaijan" Offi


"Noravank" Foundation
27 January 2009

At the end of December an article entitled "The Javakheti Armenians
Raise New Claims to the Official Tbilisi" was published in the
"Azerbaijan" Official Periodical of the National Assembly of the
Republic of Azerbaijan. A significant part of the article is dedicated
to the activities of "Yerkir" Union directed towards the protection
of the Armenian Minority Rights in Georgia.

However, the activities of "Yerkir" Union are presented in the article
in a grossly distorted way. Inter alia, according to the newspaper,
the aim of "Yerkir" Union is "achieving the independence of Javakheti
by implementing separatist politics".

"Yerkir" Union wouldn’t have been obliged to draw attention of
the public to a commonplace example of Azerbaijani disinformation
propaganda machine, if this article hadn’t been published in one of
the official periodicals of Azerbaijan, and, therefore, written by
request of the Azerbaijani authorities.

Thus, the main objective pursued by the mentioned publication is
to cause а misunderstanding concerning the processes=2 0that are
taking place in and around Javakheti and the activity of "Yerkir"
Union there. The author of the publication by breaking all the norms
of the journalist ethics simply misrepresents the views expressed by
Chairman of "Yerkir" Union Sevak Artsrouni in his interview to the
"Azg" daily on December 5, 2008 (See: ).

Nonetheless, the objectives pursued by "Yerkir" Union in Georgia are
clear and precise:

1.To support the legislative-normative standards, providing for the
use of the Armenian language at the level of local government and
administration in the areas with the compact settlement of persons
belonging to the Armenian minority,

2.To seek a solution to the socio-economic, linguistic,
educational-cultural and religious problems of the Armenian Minority of
Georgia (non-registering of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Georgia,
insufficient representation of the Armenians in local and central
governance bodies, the impossibility to get higher education on the
basis of mother language etc).

(See detailed at: ;level _id=10)

The activity of "Yerkir" Union in addressing the problems of Javakheti
and Georgian Armenians is mainly based on the obligations undertaken by
the Georgian government with respect to protection of ethnic minorities
of the country. It should be mentioned that the necessity to give a
proper pro tection to the ethic minorities of the country has been
emphasized in the recommendations of various international structures
and human rights organizations, among others – the recommendations
of the UN Human Rights Committee.

Therefore, "Yerkir" Union carries out committed work directed to
representation and protection of Javakheti and Georgian Armenians
and promotion of the human rights protection standards set forth by
the relevant international structures (UN, OSCE, the European Union,
the Council of Europe etc).



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