Today, the Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan met with over 30 international human rights organizations in Brussels.
The meeting had been organized in advance and the participants were invited to have a have a discussion with the Defender. The meeting was unprecedented in terms of the format. It was organized with the support of the European Friends of Armenia.
Among the participants were representatives from European Network of National Human Rights Institutions, International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, Open Society European Policy Institute and other originations. Representatives of European Union also attended the meeting.
During the discussion the Ombudsman presented the regulations of the new law on “Human Rights Defender” and stressed that it aims to enhance the institutional role of the Ombudsman Institution in Armenia’s legal system. Apart from this, the human rights situation in Armenia and the activities of the Ombudsman in this field were discussed. Arman Tatoyan stressed the importance of the work with civil society and media representatives. In particular, the new principles of work with NGOs that are defined in the new law were highlighted.
The issues related to the involvement of the Ombudsman of Artsakh and visits to Artsakh were discussed in detail. A. Tatoyan presented the Reports of Artsakh Ombudsman, including the facts on Azerbaijani atrocities. Particularly one of the participants asked A. Tatotyan about so-called Baku Platform. In response to the question, A. Tatoyan said that it was not real and could not be acceptable, when the April war showed that the brutal murders were due to the mere fact that those people were Armenians. There is so much hatred towards Armenians in Azerbaijan so there could not exist a real platform, especially in Baku. Such viewpoint was substantiated with concrete examples from Artsakh Ombudsman’s Report. In response to another question, A. Tatoyan stated that he is ready to meet regarding issues related to Armenia, but his viewpoint is that in discussions in connection with Artsakh the Ombudsman of Artsakh must take part, because human rights issues have nothing to do with politics.
In addition, A. Tatoyan attached great importance to the work of journalists in Artsakh and stressed that now even more work should be conducted towards increasing the number of visits to Artsakh. Once again he highlighted the principle that human rights have no boundaries and civil society and democratic institutions of Artsakh must be involved in all international meetings.
The participants appreciated the discussion with the Ombudsman, his active work both in Armenia and at the international meetings, and expressed their willingness to cooperate in certain areas and continue similar meetings.