Sunday, 3 November 2013

Armenia human rights ombudsman uses anti-gay undertones to beg for more money from state budget

Here we are. Not only Armenia human rights ombudsman flirts with neo-nazi but uses anti-gay undertones to ask for more money from the state budget.

Responding to journalists questions, after trying to secure more money for his agency from the state budget, he reiterated his intention to be consistent to get rid of “moral perversion”. Once again, he was referring to trans sex workers and gay cruising area. Exploitation of this issue in Armenia is simply used to fuel anti-gay prejudice and discrimination. Ombudsman knows this pretty well, and wants to re-invent himself as a fighter for “morality”. Ha!
Օմբուդսմենը լրագրողների հետ զրույցում խոսել է նաև Կոմայգու խնդրից՝ հայտնելով, որ իրենք հետևողական են լինելու, որպեսզի մանկական այգին ազատվի այլասերվածությունից։  «Եթե առաջիկա շաբաթներին և ամիսներին չտեսնենք գործընթացներ, դուք նորից մեզնից կլսեք մեր պահանջի մասին»,- ասել է Կ․Անդրեասյանը։
As I mentioned in my earlier post [Scandalous: Armenia human rights ombudsman targets trans sex workers and cites neo-nazi website as a basis for his statement], couple of weeks ago, ombudsman Karen Andreasyan issued a statement full of discriminatory language and references to “morality” as opposed to human rights.

What was worse, as a ground for his statement he cited neo-nazi web site (!) and their article full of homophobia and hatred.

In past, I did have hopes that this ombudsman may have devotion to human rights. But apparently he was simply playing a role at a time when Armenia was seemingly on a path to European integration. Now, with the decision to join Russia led Customs Union, there is no longer need to play a ‘human rights devotee’.

The institute of human rights ombudsman is supposed to be an important body to safeguard human rights of citizens. However, if this institute is led by people like Andreasyan, whether we have such institute or not, will not be making any difference.

Either human rights ombudsman has to be someone who is devoted to the notion of human rights, or I’d say ditch the institute altogether and divert the state budget money to other areas, e.g. pension. I would also advise international human rights bodies and foreign embassies in Armenia to stop taking ombudsman Karen Andreasyan seriously and not wasting their time and resources on him.

He is not an ombudsman. He is a joke.

2 comments:

Henrik Vestman said...

Thank you for an interesting piece. I´m an intern at the Swedish Embassy in Tbilisi. Tomorrow evening I´ll take the train down to Yerevan, plan is to spend some days trying to get an update on the current situation in the country. Especially regarding the gender law and the debate surrounding it. Would be nice if you would have the time to meet for a chat? Maybe Sunday?

Hope to hear from you soon!

Kind Regards,
Henrik Vestman
h.vestman@gmail.com

artmika said...

Henrik, good to know re your interest. I would suggest you to meet PINK Armenia and Women's Resource Centre. They are the best and key to provide you with informed updates.