CoE Human Rights Commissioner to visit Armenia

YEREVAN (ArmRadio)–The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, will arrive in Yerevan Sunday for a three-day visit that will assess the progress of an ad-hoc parliamentary commission investigating Armenia’s post election unrest.

He will meet with top government officials and visit Armenian prisons where opposition supporters have been detained since the March 1 riots. Hammarberg will be accompanied by two members of his Office and Johan Hirschfeldt, an international expert on national commissions of inquiry.

“This visit is part of the ongoing dialogue with the Armenian authorities, and follows the visits carried out last October and March” said the Commissioner. “In my last report on Armenia, I advocated for a comprehensive investigation into the 1 March events.”

The aim of this visit is to take stock of the progress made in the investigations and gather accurate information on the number of detainees and their judicial status, according to Commissioner Hammarberg.

“I have also taken note of the recent Resolution adopted by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly on the functioning of democratic institutions in Armenia,” he said. “I intend to provide an international contribution towards the improvement of the human rights situation in the country.”

During his visit, the Commissioner will also meet with President Serzh Sarkisian, leading members of the Government, Parliamentary representatives, the Prosecutor General and members of the ad hoc Parliamentary inquiry committee. Commissioner Hammarberg will also hold further meetings with detainees and their lawyers, Armenia’s Human Rights Ombudsman, as well as representatives of international organizatIons and civil society.

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