Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Discrimination against gay Armenians: US State Department Human Rights Report 2007

The US State Department issued its annual Human Rights Report for 2007( today, March 11, 2008.

Although concerning Armenia ( the report is limited to last year, and does not include the most recent developments, the report's findings are significant:

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2008 -- Armenia's record on human rights remained poor during 2007, according to the U.S. State Department's annual report on human rights around the world. First, the document said, parliamentary elections last spring didn't meet world standards. The report, issued today, also says security forces sometimes beat those they had arrested, and some arrests were made arbitrarily. The government also imposed restrictions on privacy, religious expression, the news media and freedom of assembly, the document says. Meanwhile, the report says, the Armenian government didn't enforce laws against violence against women, human trafficking and harassment of homosexuals.

R. G.

Below is an extract from the Report describing specifically discrimination against LGBT people in Armenia.

Other Societal Abuses and Discrimination

Persons who were openly gay were exempted from military service, purportedly because of concerns that they would be abused by fellow servicemen. However, the legal pretext for this exemption is predicated on a medical finding of gays possessing a mental disorder, which is stamped in their passports and can affect their future. Local observers noted that unlike in previous years, there were no reported cases of police harassment of homosexuals through blackmail, extortion, or violence. Nevertheless, societal attitudes and harassment towards homosexuality remained severe, and hampered homosexuals' access to medical care.

Many employers reportedly discriminated against potential employees by age, most commonly requiring that job applicants be between the ages of 18 and 30. After the age of 40, workers, particularly women, had little chance of finding jobs that were appropriate to their education or skills.


Mamikon Hovsepyan said...

That's true, the legal pretext for this exemption is predicated on a medical finding of gays possessing a mental disorder, but they don't put a stamp in the passports. Each male citizen of Armenia has a special document, which we call an army (military) ticket, and they mention in that ticket just the code "6B" which means kind of mental disorder and really can affect their future.
I don't know all the details but as I know such people who has the point 6B in their tickets they can't get driver license in Armenia.
This army ticket is a very important document for male citizens in Armenia, in many cases we have to show the document with the passport, so I'll say that there is no difference if you have a stamp in your passport or not

artmika said...

Mamikon, I am going to publish a special post on this subject matter. Your information is very important, many thanks! This is a very important human rights issue!

Do you know exactly what 6B stands for, its exact definition? I saw one document (not an army ticket) where a psychiatrist put “sexual disorder” as a “diagnosis”. Is it what 6B means? Or 6B - more generally - refers to ‘mental disorders’?

Mamikon said...

That document that you saw is given in the psychiatric hospital. But the point '6B' is more general and it is "psychopad" in russian, don't know the translation in other languages, which is "mental disorders".

artmika said...

Armenia: US State Department reports on government's poor human rights record, violence against women and societal harrassment of homosexuals

artmika said...

US State department human rights report: "Societal Abuses, Discrimination, and Acts of Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity" in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan