Arman Tatoyan, Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Armenia had a meeting with representatives of about 30 human rights organizations in Brussels. The meeting was organized with support from the European Friends of Armenia (EuFoA).
Mr. Tatoyan gave a briefing followed by a lively debate about the human rights situation in Armenia. He explained the new tools given to his institution, such as immunity for his members of staff, the Ombudsman’s permanent representative in the Armenian Parliament, and the new forms of NGO involvement in his work.
“The institution of the Ombudsman in Armenia is now strong and legally protected like no other in Eastern Europe”, Mr Tatoyan said, adding that especially the enhanced cooperation with NGOs in Armenia helps the effectiveness of his work. Key fields of activities are torture prevention, fighting domestic violence, supporting freedom of speech and the legal framework surrounding the upcoming elections.
Arman Tatoyan spoke about the involvement of Artsakh’s Ombudsman in international meetings and presented the latter’s report on Azerbaijani atrocities.
The Ombudsman said he ready to hold meetings on any Armenia-related issues, but added that the participation of Artsakh’s Human Rights Defender in Karabakh-related issues is a must, since human rights issues are in no way related to politics.
He stressed that human rights recognize no borders and said that “the public and democratic institutions of Artskah should be involved in all international meetings.
Arman Tatoyan attached importance to the work of journalists in Artsakh, stressing the need to boost the visits to Nagorno Karabakh.