Recently, there has been the release of two important human rights reports: The Human Rights Defender’s report on the presidential election and Civil Society Institute (CSI), the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) joint report on general human rights in Armenia.
The Human Rights Defender’s report (press release, full report) covers the election from the beginning through post-election activities. It’s not the easiest read, nor does the Defender give recommendations, making this report a bit frustrating. It’s probably best to think of this as very well researched human rights journalism. The conclusion of the report is similar to OSCE/ODIHR’s hesitant support of the election with the Defender saying that “[t]he elections were freer than before, but many people do not believe were fair.”
The CSI/NHC/FIDH report (press release, full report) is a mid-term report based on how Armenia has been doing since 2010, when Armenia was reviewed by the Universal Periodic Review process. This report is not about the election, and instead it covers assorted major human rights issues: political persecution, torture and ill-treatment, judicial independence, and juvenile rights. They talk about the change to the criminal code (which should stop Armenia from getting regularly fined by the European Court of Human Rights), but there is no mention of the government rejecting the draft domestic violence bill. I can’t wait to hear how the government is going to defend that one in front of CEDAW or another international review.