Human Rights Watch: Media Pluralism Lacking In Armenia

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: MEDIA PLURALISM LACKING IN ARMENIA

NEWS.AM
January 31, 2013 | 19:48

Human Rights Watch has issued an annual world report summarizing
human rights conditions in more than 90 countries and territories
worldwide in 2012.

The report on Armenia says country’s ruling coalition retained
a parliamentary majority following the May 2012 elections amid
allegations of abuse of administrative resources, and intimidation
of voters, observers, and journalists.

“The government has yet to offer conscientious objectors a genuine
civilian alternative to military service and has failed to effectively
investigate a troubling number of non-combat deaths in the military.

Politically motivated defamation lawsuits no longer appear to be
a problem, but media pluralism is lacking, and some journalists
covering the May 6 parliamentary elections suffered violent attacks
by onlookers, some of them members of Armenia’s ruling political party.

Violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation are serious
problems. Bureaucratic restrictions prevent people with terminal
illnesses from accessing strong pain medications.”

As to the May 6 parliamentary election, the authors present assessments
of the OSCE monitoring report which labels the May 6 parliamentary
elections as competitive and largely peaceful, yet marred by “an
unequal playing field” due to misuse of administrative resources,
and party representatives and local authorities pressuring voters,
interfering in voting, and hindering the work of journalists.

The report also mentions cases of army abuses citing local human rights
groups which reported 44 non-combat army deaths through September.

From: A. Papazian

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