Distinguished Faculty For Genocide and Human Rights Univ. Program

255 Duncan Mill Rd., Suite 310
Toronto, ON, Canada M3B 3H9
Tel: (416) 250-9807 Fax: (416) 512-1736
E-mail: [email protected]


DATE: March 24, 2004


Toronto, Canada – As Mr. Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the United
Nations, recently noted:
For nearly half a century — almost as long as the United Nations has been
in existence — the General Assembly has recognized the need to establish…a
court to prosecute and punish persons responsible for crimes such as
genocide. Many thought…that the horrors of the Second World War — the
camps, the cruelty, the exterminations, the Holocaust — could never happen
again. And yet they have. In Cambodia, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in
Rwanda. Our time — this decade even — has shown us that man’s capacity
for evil knows no limits. Genocide…is now a word of our time, too, a
heinous reality that calls for a historic response.

As there is a continuing need for understanding the phenomenon of genocide
and a response to it, the International Institute for Genocide and Human
Rights Studies (A Division of Zoryan Institute) and the University of
Minnesota-Twin Cities are offering the Summer 2004 Genocide and Human
Rights University Program (GHRUP) and are pleased to announce the
distinguished faculty who will be participating this year.

In addition to Roger Smith and Stephen Feinstein, Co-Directors of the
course, some of the instructors this year include Taner Akçam, Visiting
Associate Professor, Dept. of History, University of Minnesota; Joyce
Apsel, Master Teacher in the General Studies Program at New York
University; Stephan Astourian, Professor, Department of History, University
of California-Berkeley; Major Brent Beardsley, Research Officer at the
Canadian Forces Leadership Institute and former Personal Staff Officer to
Major-General Roméo Dallaire, UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda; Frank
Chalk, Professor, Department of History, Concordia University and
Co-Director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights
Studies; Vahakn Dadrian, Director of Genocide Research, Zoryan Institute;
Richard Hovannisian, Armenian Educational Foundation Endowed Chair of
Modern Armenian History, University of California-Los Angeles; Jacques
Kornberg, Professor Emeritus, Department of History, University of Toronto;
Eric Markusen, Senior Research Fellow, Department for Holocaust and
Genocide Studies, Danish Institute for International Studies; Gregory
Stanton, Professor of Human Rights, Mary Washington College, President of
Genocide Watch and Director of the Cambodian Genocide Project; and Eric
Weitz, Arsham and Charlotte Ohanessian Chair in the College of Liberal Arts
and Director of the Center for German and European Studies, University of
Minnesota. With a few variations, the faculty at both programs, in
Minneapolis, July 5-16, 2004, and in Toronto, August 3-13, 2004, will be
the same.

“This course has always been a unique opportunity for students to
experience a broad comparative perspective on genocide. We are very proud
that among the faculty we have not only some of the foremost scholars in
their respective fields, but also individuals who are active in
international efforts to both document and prevent genocide around the
world,” stated Dr. Roger Smith.

The purpose of the program is to provide students with a framework for
understanding genocide and its effects. It explores the universality of the
issues related to genocide and takes a comparative approach for
understanding the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, the Cambodian Genocide,
the Rwandan Genocide, and more recent events with genocidal overtones. In
addition, many special themes are explored, such as the mass violation of
human rights; women, children and genocide; how to teach about genocide;
issues of memorialization and representation; and possibilities of dialogue
and reconciliation between perpetrator and victim groups.

Students wishing to participate in this unique program must have their
applications in by May 15, 2004 for the Minnesota program and by May 31,
2004 for the Toronto program. In order to maintain the seminar format in
this high demand course, the number of students is limited, so early
application is recommended. Limited scholarship assistance will be available.

For more information or to apply, contact the International Institute for
Genocide and Human Rights at (416) 250-9807, , or by
email at ad[email protected], or contact Stephen Feinstein, Director,
Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, University of Minnesota, at
(612) 626-2235, [email protected].


Armenian leader hopes for peaceful solution to Ajaria crisis

Armenian leader hopes for peaceful solution to Ajaria crisis

Mediamax news agency
16 Mar 04


Armenian President Robert Kocharyan today expressed the hope that the
leaders of Georgia and Ajaria will succeed in resolving their
disagreements through negotiations.

According to Mediamax news agency, Robert Kocharyan said this in
Yerevan today, speaking to journalists after his visit to the Defence
Ministry’s Vazgen Sarkisyan Military Institute.

Robert Kocharyan stressed that “Georgia at large and the Black Sea
ports of that country are of extremely special importance to Armenia”.

The president noted that Armenia’s wish for a peaceful settlement to
the situation in Ajaria was expressed during Georgian President
Mikheil Saakashvili’s official visit to Yerevan at the end of the last

Armenian president praises army

Armenian president praises army

Mediamax news agency
16 Mar 04


Armenian President Robert Kocharyan announced in Yerevan today that
“the Armenian army is improving year by year”, Mediamax news agency
quoted Robert Kocharyan as telling journalists this after his visit to
the Vazgen Sarkisyan Military School. He said that “this applies both
to the Armenian army’s combat readiness and level of discipline”.

[A separate Arminfo report quoted him as saying: “The level of
training of the military is now sufficiently high, nevertheless we
discussed with the leadership of the institute steps aimed at
developing further the quality of military education in Armenia.”]

CENN Daily Digest – March 10, 2004

Table of Contents:
1. Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan to Sign BTC Pipeline Agreement in 2004 – SOCAR

2. Botas to Finish Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum Pipeline on Time
3. WWF Warns of BTC Eco-threat
4. Animal Rights violated by Georgian Designers?
5. High Water Tariffs not to affect Households, PM says
6. Gas and Water Paying by Internet
7. Garbage Presentation
8. Robert Kocharyan and The Natural Calamity
9. Ecological Library in Tashkent


Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan will sign an intergovernmental agreement for
the transportation of Kazakh oil through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
pipeline in 2004, Natik Aliyev, president of the State Oil Company of
the Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR), told journalists.

“Talks on this issue, which began two years ago, are nearing completion
and we will sign it. There is no reason for us to rush because the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan has not yet been launched and Kazakhstan has not yet
got the volume of oil to transport through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
pipeline. We are trying to resolve all issues that may arise in the
future,” Aliyev said.

He said that to fully regulate all issues it would be necessary to
resolve a number of disputed areas. “Kazakhstan does not want to ratify
the agreement in parliament. Investors are demanding ratification, so
that this law does not change in the future, even if there are changes
in legislation and new regulatory acts are passed for customs and
taxes,” he said.

“I think that this issue can also be resolved. Investors will agree to
an additional document, if the intergovernmental agreement is not
ratified,’ Aliyev said.

He said that the working group for the preparation of the
intergovernmental agreement will next meet in April.
Interfax, March 9, 2004


Turkish state pipeline company Botas plans to complete the Turkish
section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline on time.

“The Turkish side is able to build its section of the Baku-Tbilisi-
Erzurum pipeline on time, so gas supplies from the Shah Deniz field will
begin in 2006-2007, as expected,” a source in the Botas head office in
Ankara told Interfax.

Participants in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project said earlier that bad
weather in Turkey is delaying construction work on the Turkish section
of that pipeline.

As a result, experts said that the construction delays may push back the
launch date for the pipeline, which would in turn lead to delays for the
Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline. The two pipelines are being built in one
corridor, using the same construction resources. Therefore, construction
of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline can only begin once the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan is completed.

The Botas source said that “at the moment research work is continuing
for the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline project and no deviation from
schedule is expected.”

According to plan, the capacity of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum, which
stretches 225 km in Turkey, will amount to 30 billion cubic meters per

Reserves at the Shah Deniz field are estimated at 625 bcm of gas and 101
million tonnes of gas condensate.

Shareholders in the project to develop the Shah Deniz field include BP –
25.5%, Statoil – 25.5%, LUKAgip – 10%, TotalFinaElf – 10%, SOCAR -10%,
National Iranian Oil Company – 10% and TPAO – 9%.
Interfax, March 9, 2004


The speedy implementation of the project to construct the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) export oil pipeline poses a threat to the
flora and fauna of the entire Caspian region, Trend news agency has
quoted an official of the World Wildlife Fund Frank Merchel as saying in
a statement.
CBN, March 10, 2004


Animal Rights Committee of Georgia came out against animal cruelty and
called Avtandil Tskvitinidze and Maka Assathiany – famous Georgian
designers to refrain from using natural fur for the collections soon to
be represented in Moscow fashion show. Recently, Saga Fur Company
presented Georgian fashion designers Avtandil Tskvitinidze and Maka
Assathiany with certain amount of fur to design models for the upcoming
fashion show. And Animal Rights Committee `in response’ `granted’ the
designers with an undercover fur farm video narrated by famous fashion
designer Stella McCartney. The video produced by People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals (PETA), describes the plight of animals at modern
fur farms.

In a letter enclosed with the video, ARC calls upon Tskvitinidze and
Assathiany to make the right choice between cruelty and kindness, and
offers to provide additional information concerning fake fur and leather

`There are also other organizations that deal against animal cruelty in
Georgia but we work on global issues. There is negative stereotype
deeply enrooted in Georgia that violation against animals doesn’t matter
when the rights of human beings are so frequently disrespected. But the
civilization in the country is measured according to how the animals are
treated. Besides maltreated animals like street dogs which have
developed rabies are dangerous for human beings themselves ` – Lexo
Khubulava, the Chairmen of Animal Rights Committee says.

Heather Mills, wife of former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, has joined his
crusade against the abuse of animals by letting her photographs appear
exclusively on the cover of the 2004 Shopping Guide for Caring
Consumers, produced by People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals
(PETA). Now in its fourteenth year, the PETA Shopping Guide features
more than 500 companies which have signed a statement promising never to
test any ingredients or finished products on animals.

Other McCartney family members are actively involved in animal rights
campaigns. Designer Stella McCartney avoids to use any kind of animal
products in her creations, and her sister Mary created a PETA anti-fur
advertisement featuring pop star Sophie Ellis Bextor. McCartney opened
her first store in Manhattan’s meatpacking district — an odd choice for
such a well-known animal rights campaigner.

`Everything in [my] store and every single garment and accessories that
you see is cruelty free in the sense that no animal has died to make
anything in here. I just think that a lot of people out there don’t want
products that an animal has had to die for.”

Animal Rights Committee is managed by a group of volunteers who
contribute their free time and resources to the protection of animals.
The Committee promotes animal-related laws and regulations. On April 3,
2003 ARC formally proposed amendments to the Ordinance of the City of
Tbilisi on the Maintenance of Dogs, Cats and Other Predator Animals. The
Ordinance was passed by the Sakrebulo (municipality) of Tbilisi on
November 7, 2001. It also supports use of alternatives to animal
experiments as a number of educational and medical research institutions
continue using animals in painful and deadly experiments and
dissections, also support to establish cat shelter

Animal Rights Committee introduces a charity sale of postcards designed
by talented artist Giorgi Akhvlediani. In addition to creating original
pieces of artwork, Mr. Akhvlediani runs a makeshift cat shelter at the
open-air Ethnographic Museum of Tbilisi, where he feeds and takes care
of homeless cats.

`When Avtandil Tskvitinidze and Maka Assathiany watch how the fur is
obtained in `modern’ animal farms and what kind of psychological stress
those animals undergo and see their killing methods that are of middle
ages they will refrain from using natural fur for sure’, – Chairmen of
Animal Rights Committee assured.

In the meantime the manager of Avtandil Tskvitinidze explained that the
fur was provided by Saga Fur Company as a gift and they are not going to
support animal cruelty this way.
Georgian Times, March 9, 2004


March 3, 2004 Andranik Margarian, the Prime Minister of Armenia, stated
that the increased tariffs for drinking water would not have a
significant affect on households, because the majority of them have
already installed water meters allowing regulating water consumption.

Under a recent decision of a state commission regulating public utility
fees, residents in Yerevan will have to pay 90 drams for 1 cubic meter
of water beginning from April 1 instead of the current price of 56
drams. The prime minister said that out of 280,000 households in Yerevan
240,000 have already installed water meters and owners of the rest of
40,000 apartments are temporarily out of Armenia. However, in regions
only 80,000 households out of the total 290,000 have installed meters.
The deadline there is extended up to 2005, July
ARMENPRESS, March 4, 2004


Central Bank of Armenia and UNDP set up the first paying system through
Internet in Armenia by `ArCa’ plastic cards. {BR}

Central Bank Chair Tigran Sargssyan informed that the system enables
`ArCa’ owners to pay for public utilities – telephone, gas, water,
electricity on the Internet address of the company, and to buy
`ArmenTel’ easy-cards and `ArmInco ‘Internet cards.

‘ArCa’ Director Shahen Hovhannissyan says that `ArCa’ now has 50.000
cardholders. Anyone can register his or her card in `ArCa’ Internet
address only once a year and to make payments all the year round. The
payment receipt on that address is valid.
, March 3, 2004


In 2003 an agreement between Armenian Town Planning Ministry and
European Union was signed on implementing an experimental management
project of hard domestic waste in the settlements of Ararat and Vayotc
Dzor Districts. {BR}

As the employee of Town Planning Ministry informed, 1.3-1.5 million
cubic meters of solid domestic waste are annually accumulated in Armenia
and 20% of them in the rural areas.

It is equivalent to 370-430 kg garbage per capita. The waste is
transported and accumulated in the 60 trash dumps of Armenia and in the

‘I hope this process to be a model, which will be applied in the other
districts, too. European Union finances the project and 3 international
and 2 national experts work on it’, Lia Sighurdt, the international
councilor of Town Planning Ministry, says.

European Union has allowed 150.000-160.000 Euros only for studies. The
project was launched this January and will last for 5 months.

CENN Armenia office would like to note that it is already taking part in
discussions with the experts mentioned in this article and hopes to
contribute to public awareness efforts to learn of the needs of local
populations and to help raise their awareness about waste management and
collection, and to contribute to the studies mentioned above for
improvement of waste management infrastructure.

For more details regarding this study, please contact:
[email protected].
, March 9, 2004

P.S. CENN Armenia office would like to note that it is already taking
part in discussions with the experts mentioned in this article and hopes
to contribute to public awareness efforts to learn of the needs of local
populations and to help raise their awareness about waste management and
collection, and to contribute to the studies mentioned above for
improvement of waste management infrastructure.

For more details regarding this study, please contact:
[email protected].


PM and Ministry of Territorial Management and Coordinating Activity of
Infrastructures have today reported Robert Kocharyan about the measures
taken to eliminate the consequences of the natural calamity during the
last days in the districts. {BR}

It was stated that interdepartmental commissions work in all the
districts having suffered from calamity. They assess the damage and
prepare suggestions over relief to the suffered families and
settlements. Now electricity, water and communication supply is being
restored in those districts.

Robert Kocharyan set tasks to solve the urgent problems and to discuss
at Government sitting the issue on allotting finances and to
periodically inform him about the process of the work.
, March 9, 2004


At the press conference held in Tashkent, President of the International
fund for Ecology and Health `Ekosan’ Yusif Shadimetov informed on
founding of the ecological library in Uzbekistan, AzerTAj correspondent
reports. A reader has had an opportunity to obtain information on
ecology, environment protection, as well as flora and fauna. A special
department dealing with ecological education of children has also been
opened at the library.
AzerTag, March 9, 2004

Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN)

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Fax: ++995 32 92 39 47
E-mail: [email protected]
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Editorial policy: CENN both solicits and accepts submissions for
environmental information to the Caucasus Environmental NGO Network.
Although, CENN retains the right to edit all materials both for
content and length. The information provided through CENN does
not necessarily represent the opinion of SDC and CENN.

CENN, on behalf of the Caucasus Environmental NGOs, would like to
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For more information about the program, please visit CENN web-page:



Rights advocates strive to promote judicial independence in Armenia

Eurasianet Organization
March 12 2004

Emil Danielyan: 3/12/04

Armenia’s judicial system is facing scrutiny from human rights
advocates, who assert that executive authorities continue to exert
undue influence over judges. Some non-governmental organization
activists are exploring ways to promote a greater degree of judicial
independence by making it more difficult for authorities to detain

The lack of the judicial system’s independence is rooted in Armenia’s
post-Soviet constitution, which states that the president is “the
guarantor of the independence of the judicial bodies.” Such language,
in effect, gives the president the ability to appoint and dismiss
virtually all judges at will. Conversely, the constitutional
provision effectively intimidates judges into making decisions
designed to please incumbent executive branch officials, rights
advocates say.

Research conducted in 2002 by the American Bar Association’s Central
and East European Law Initiative rated Armenia negatively on 18 out
of the 30 indicators that comprise its Judicial Reform Index (JRI)
for formerly Communist nations. Eight of the 12 remaining criteria in
Armenia’s JRI were rated as “neutral.” Among the negative categories
were “judicial qualification and preparation,” “selection and
appointment process,” “adequacy of judicial salaries” and “judicial
decisions and improper influence.”

In comparing Armenia’s performance with other CIS states, the JRI for
Ukraine gave a negative grade for 12 of the 30 reform criteria. A
newly published report on Kyrgyzstan, meanwhile, gave negative
evaluations in 19 of the 30 categories.

“Bribery is a common problem, caused … by low judicial salaries,
mistrust of the judicial system and historical practice,” the Armenia
JRI stated. “Judges often get telephone calls from officials, parties
and `intermediaries’ in an attempt to influence their decision.”

“One lawyer stated that an appellate judge told him directly that he
could not resist the opposing pressure to decide [the case in
question] a certain way for fear of jeopardizing his professional
future,” the report added.

Opposition protests over alleged vote fraud during the presidential
election in 2003 underscored the judiciary’s apparent susceptibility
to executive pressure. [For additional information see the Eurasia
Insight archive]. A police crackdown on supporters of incumbent
President Robert Kocharian’s main challenger, Stepan Demirchian
resulted in up to 400 arrests. Many of the opposition detainees were
sentenced to up 15 days in prison on administrative charges for
participating in unsanctioned demonstrations. While in jail, most
opposition activists were denied access to lawyers and faced closed
trials in breach of Armenian law.

The post-election crackdown, which was denounced by the Council of
Europe and other international organizations, was carried out under
the auspices of Armenia’s Code for Administrative Offenses, a
Soviet-era relic that enables security agencies to briefly jail
people without probable cause. Human rights activists allege that the
administrative code has often been manipulated by authorities to keep
suspects in custody while cases against them are manufactured.
According to Avetik Ishkhanian of the Armenian Helsinki Committee,
courts, in such instances, merely act as “notaries,” effectively
recording the cases brought by police.

Human rights activists say one way to check executive influence over
the judiciary is to raise the standards by which prosecutors can
detain suspects prior to trial. Existing laws and regulations, along
with compliant judges, now make it easy to keep suspects in jail.
Official figures revealed, compiled by a local NGO, tell the story:
Armenian courts granted almost 97 percent of the 5,116 requests for
pre-trial detention filed by state prosecutors in 2003. In the vast
majority of these cases, rights activists contend, prosecutors did
not present evidence or make legal justifications in their detention

Ishkhanian, the Helsinki Committee activist, said that keeping
suspects in prison in Armenia is conducive to injustice and human
rights abuses. “It is always easier to extract confessions from
detainees than from those who are at large,” he told EurasiaNet in an
interview. “Law-enforcement bodies here continue to operate under old

The pre-trial detention issue is currently the subject of in-depth
study by a Yerevan-based NGO, the Civil Society Institute (CSI). The
organization is examining detention centers across the country,
interviewing judges, law-enforcement officials and lawyers. The study
began in September 2003. The group is already lobbying for the
passage of legal changes that would establish tougher requirements
for arrest and detention.

“There are practically no justifications in arrest petitions
submitted by investigators,” says CSI lawyer Narine Rshtuni. “Nor do
they seek to prove that a particular individual will escape trial or
obstruct the investigation.”

Hrach Sarkisian, chairman of the Armenian Union of Judges, defended
the judiciary’s independence, claiming that most magistrates do not
bow to pressure from prosecutors or executive officials. He blamed
existing problems on shortcomings in the law, specifically the
framework for pre-trial detentions that allows for detention without
the presentation of evidence of any misdeed. Contradicting
Sarkisian’s claims, one judge quoted by a preliminary CSI study says:
“The courts will do a better job if the judges get real independence.
If the judges were independent 30 or 40 percent of arrest petitions
would not be approved.”

CSI chairman, Artak Kirakosian, expressed hope that Kocharian’s
administration will be receptive to reforming the country’s Code for
Procedural Justice along the lines recommended by the NGO. Kirakosian
pointed out that Armenia’s Council of Europe membership obligations
required further efforts to reform the judiciary. Other activists,
including Ishkhanian, are more skeptical, believing that Kocharian
wants to retain his administration’s influence over the judiciary.
“This [promoting an independent judiciary], as well as free
elections, is something that Armenian authorities will never do,”
Ishkhanian said. “Any judicial reform will be cosmetic. I’m quite
pessimistic on this issue.”

Editor’s Note: Emil Danielyan is a Yerevan-based journalist and
political analyst.