Protesters Attempt to Disrupt Racism Forum in Yerevan

Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian (center) and Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland (left) at the conference in Yerevan

YEREVAN (Arka)—Representatives of Armenian non-governmental organizations attempted to disrupt the forum entitled “Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Intolerance in Europe” that started in Yerevan on October 21.

Several dozens of activists were holding protests near the Armenia-Marriott Hotel when they broke through security lines and, carrying their banners, entered the conference hall where the forum was taking place, Novosti-Armenia reported.

The main speakers of the event, Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian and Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland made their speeches in the presence of the protesters.

The forum was attended also by a member of PACE’s Committee on Equality and Non-discrimination Johan Gunnarsson, ambassadors and high-ranking officials, representatives of international organizations and civil society.

Chairman of the Helsinki Association for Human Rights, Michael Danielyan, said the European authorities have no right to arrange such forums in a country like Armenia.

It is more than cynical to hold such events in a country where the authorities demonstrate no sign of tolerance, the activist said.

The event was held under Armenia’s chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers and was to discuss racism and xenophobia, as well as the role of human rights protecting institutions in combating racism and ethnic discrimination.

Armenia assumed chairmanship of the CE Committee of Ministers on May 16, 2013.

The conference on racism, xenophobia, and intolerance lunched its meetings on October 21. Meanwhile, a number of activists began rallies protesting against various issues. A group of activists intruded the hall at the moment that Edward Nalbandian was delivering remarks. The incident did not seriously obstruct the conference, however.

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland underscored that racism and intolerance undermine society. “Racism, xenophobia, and intolerance have nothing to do in Europe,” Thorbjørn Jagland noted. Among other things Thorbjørn Jagland emphasized that he highly appreciates the conference dedicated to the struggle against racism held in Yerevan.


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  1. Petrushka said:

    These people have no business to hold their racism conferences in Erevan. We are not a circus. Who are they preaching their religion ? to Armenians ? We have other more visceral issues to face than waste resources and time to propagandize a theme which is totally irrelevant in Armenia. Or are they conditioning us to start opening our doors and be invaded by non Armenians under the pretext of sham humanitarian principles ? It seems that foreign minister Nalbandian has a very skittish schedule, to afford such an extravanza and waste of his time.

    • Martin said:

      Somali “refugees” – coming to a street near you

      The protesters are idiots. They’ll protest anything just to call themselves “activists.”

  2. samuel Darbinian said:

    Once again Armenian corrupt government exhibited weakness not expressing Armenian Genocide on the hands of Turkish Racist Criminals & freedom of Artsakh people from Azari oppresive domination in this forum,
    if it hapened this forum take place in Turkey or Azarbaijan they would distord every facts & bring barrage of insults to Armenians.
    Another important issue, europian nations boosting Turkish & Azari racism, by supplying capital to build pipe
    line,divert Armenia benefiting themselve in exchange of money & arms to Azarbaijan enabling them blakede
    Armenia to inflame national & international problems in the region.

  3. Avetis said:

    The lack of racism in Europe and the growth of ultra-liberalism is in fact destroying western civilization, the white race and Christianity. Suicidal officials from Europe needs to stay as far away from Armenia as possible.