Commission Discusses Violation of Human Rights by Religious Sects

YEREVAN (Armenpress–CE website)–Speaking about the growing problem of human rights abuse by religious sects present in Armenia–the chairman of Armenia’s Human Rights Commission–Hovhannes Asrian–said that the country should wage a struggle against dangerous sects based on the commission’s suggestion. Reporting on such violations by these religious organizations–commission member attorney Alexander Amarian stressed that it is an international problem. Referring to the Council of Europe’s (CE) June 20–1999 recommendations on illegal activities of sects that "attaches great importance to protecting those most vulnerable and particularly–the children of members of religious–esoteric or spiritual groups–in case of ill-treatment–rape–neglect–indoctrination through brainwashing and non-enrollment at school–which makes it impossible for welfare services to exercise supervision," he said that action must be taken immediately within the CE guidelines.

Another member of the commission–Attorney Larisa Alaverdian–stated that the support of the state and church is extremely important in the struggle. She also cited CE recommendations–which include " . . . the setting-up of non-governmental organizations for the victims–or the families of victims–of religious–esoteric or spiritual groups–particularly in eastern and central European countries."

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