Human Rights Commission Reports on Activities

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A special meeting of the presidential human rights committee decided last week to present the president with a proposal on establishing the Ombudsmen Institute–a human rights protector–in Armenia within the framework of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Calling progressive the expected transfer of the Department of Correctional Facilities from the Ministry of Interior system to the Ministry of Justice–the Committee stressed the necessity for this step and decided to keep the issue under control.

The presidential human rights committee also made a statement in connection with the incident of US Embassy official Morgan Liddick as a result of which two Armenian boys suffered head injuries.

Chairman of the committee Baruyr Hayrikian told Noyan Tapan that the committee sent a letter to Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian requesting that the details of the matter be presented to the American Embassy. "If human rights violations are revealed–we will take due action," Hayrikian pointed out. He stressed the need for impartiality at the moment. "No matter how sure we are of any question–we must not neglect the presumption of innocence–deny the right of a man to protect himself even if we are sure of his guilt."

The next meeting of the committee will be held June 23.

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