The Helsinki Association presents its 2010 Annual Report on the Human Rights situation in Armenia

The Helsinki Association for Human Rights today presented its 2010 Annual Report on the human rights
situation in the Republic of Armenia.

The report was presented in two halves. The first volume of the report deals with freedom of speech
and mass media, human rights activists, peaceful assemblies, prohibition of torture and ill treatment and
freedom of religion and conscientious objection.
The second volume contained the results of monitoring activities in mental hospitals, trials and penitentiary
institutions in the Republic of Armenia.
Expert of the Helsinki association Arsen Babayan said that the condition in the penitentiary institutions is extremely insanitary. The condition is a little satisfactory in the penitentiary institution of Artik, while the worst is the situation in ‘Nubarashen’ .
He also noted that from 2010 to February 9, 2011, 38 people died in penitentiary institutions: 32 died of illness, 1 – in an accident, 5- commited suicide.

THE OSCE PA President to visit South Caucasus

The President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) Petros Efthymiou will visit South Caucasus in May this year, Trend reports.
Efthymiou’s visit is scheduled for May 11-12. This is Efthymiou’s first visit to the region. The OSCE PA President will visit Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh.

Levon Zurabyan: the current situation is unprecedented

‘The current situation is unprecedented and what’s more important the tension is at a level Armenia has never seen before’, said the Coordinator of the Armenian National Congress Levon Zurabyan on a press conference held today.

Zurabyan also stressed the importance of revolutions, which now spread in the whole world. ‘In the light of these events the international community starts to realize that murder-autocrats, who use force against their own nation, have no place in the modern world. The most vivid examples are the developments in Libya. At last the international community adequately responses to the use of force.

Levon Zurabyan remembers with regret that the international community didn’t show the same solidarity for the events of the 1rst March 2008. ‘Then the world preferred to turn a blind eye to the developments in a small country of Armenia. Thanks God, it’s overcome, now the world realizes that Qadafi, Kocharyan and the like should end up by the verdicts of the International Court of Justice in The Hague. This development provides a ground for our national struggle’ he concluded.

U.S. First Deputy Secretary of State: U.S. interested in rapid settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

The U.S. is interested in rapid settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of the Helsinki principles, said U.S. First Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg on his visit to Baku, reports Trend.

“We hope for certain progress in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We think that both countries are interested in promoting this issue”, Steinberg said.

“I plan to learn the opinion of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev how we can move this process forward by common efforts,” he said.

Steinberg also emphasized that it is very important to maintain a diplomatic solution to the conflict, as it is in the interests of all countries in the region. “We want to make a contribution to advancing this process forward,” he said.

The OSCE Chairman Seriously Concerned about the Situation in Nagorno Karabakh

The OSCE Chairman in Office, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis addressing the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Winter Meeting in Vienna, 24 February called the OSCE participating states to fulfill their commitments and take actions towards the goals of the Helsinki process, the perspective guided by the values and principles which each of our participating States have affirmed.

‘The OSCE participating States have made progress over the years, individually and collectively, toward the goals of the Helsinki process. But even today, as the Chairman-in-Office, I still see individuals facing challenges in securing their basic human rights, guaranteeing fair elections, protecting freedom of speech and the safety of journalists and ensuring that anti-terrorism measures comply with international human rights standards’ said he.

In his speech the OSCE Chairperson also touched upon the process of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict resolution.
‘I have met with the Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group. I am concerned about the potential for deterioration in the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. Casualties have been occurring at an increasing rate along the Contact Line. The OSCE role in pursuing a settlement of the Nagorno‐Karabakh conflict through stronger engagement by the Co-chairs of the Minsk Group will be maintained. We invite the conflict parties, and other OSCE participating States, to consider options for confidence-building measures and strengthening the OSCE monitoring activities, particularly in light of growing tensions on the ground’ said Ažubalis.

As Chairman Audronius Ažubalis will visit the South Caucuses in mid-March.

American-Azerbaijani partnership

Opportunities for cooperation between the U.S. government and private Azerbaijani companies will be discussed at today’s meeting of the Azerbaijan-American Chamber of Commerce, informs Trend.

The meeting will discuss not only relations between countries in the energy sector, but also a wide range of cooperation in other fields, US Amassador to Azerbaijan Mattew Bryza said.

“Our main goal is that every Azerbaijani citizen should take the maximum advantage of the country’s dynamic and sustainable development,” the ambassador said.

Levon Ter-Petrosyan Meets EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus

First President of Armenia, opposition Armenian National Congress leader Levon Ter-Petrosyan on February 24 met with EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus Peter Semneby.

During the meeting, the sides discussed the international situation. They also touched upon Armenia’s domestic situation and worsening socio-economic condition. Ter-Petrosyan and Semneby discussed ways of overcoming the political crisis in Armenia, particularly, the issue of releasing political prisoners.

Ter-Petrosyan appreciated Semneby’s activities as EU Special Representative, thanked him and wished him further success, HAK press office reports.

Armenia’s Strategic Ally Arming Azerbaijan

Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport offered Azerbaijan to organize a licensed production of Tiger armored vehicles. According to ARMS-TASS, Advisor to the Azerbaijani Minister of Defense Industry Azad Mamedov made a relevant statement.

“We have got a range of interesting offers from Rosoboronexport for joint production of military technologies. Specifically, this refers to organization of Tiger armored vehicles production on Azerbaijan’s territory. We have received this offer and consider it,” said Mamedov.

Besides, according to him, within the framework of an agreement with SAR Azerbaijani enterprises implement orders of various structures of the country on supply of Marauder vehicles.

Armenian Order of Honor to a US Congressman

According to a decree signed by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, an Order of Honor was conferred on U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone. The ceremony took place in the Armenian embassy to Washington.

The Congressman was honored for formation of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues and 15-year activity at the post of the Caucus chairman.

Accepting the Order, Congressman Pallone thanked the Armenian President and praised the activity of Armenian ambassador in the U.S.

He pledged to continue support to Armenia, Nagorno Karabakh and entire Armenian nation.

Opposition should develop a common agenda: Heritage party

‘The opposition parties should take agreed actions’ said member of the Heritage parliamentary faction ArmenMartirosyan.
According tօMartirosyan the opposition should develop a unified agenda, since working with a commonly agreed plan is an urgent challenge considered the present social situation which may soon endanger the state’s security.
Martirosan also says that such an agenda should be based on the principle of equal partnership.