Prominent Armenian human rights activist Mikael Danielyan was presented with the Defender of Freedom award during the reception at the U.S. Embassy in Armenia devoted to the Martin Luther King Day.
«As a founder and head of the Armenian Helsinki Association, Danielyan fought for the rights of prisoners, conscripts and minorities», - said US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.
Present during the ceremony were leaders of political parties, foreign diplomats accredited in Armenia, the Ombudsman of Armenia, as well as representatives of NGOs.
Last year Mikael Danielyan was attacked in downtown Yerevan by former leader of "Armenian Progressive Party" Tigran Urikhanyan who accused Danielyan in destabilising the country and defending gay rights. (for details - 1; 2; 3)
Well deserved award. My congratulations to Mikael Danielyan!!
Unsurprisingly, pro-government tabloid-style newspaper Hayots Ashkharh criticized the nomination of Mikael Danielian for the Defender of Freedom award: “In order to stay in the centre of attention of humanity after the inauguration of Barack Omaba, Americans have taken a second step; they give an Defender of Freedom award to ‘human rights activist’ Mikael Danielian.”
*photo of Mikael Danielyan and Lara Aharonian of Women’s Resource Centre at the launch of the PINK Armenia Information Centre in downtown Yerevan, September 2008.