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June 1, 2010


In a statement released on June 1 and published by the ArmeniaToday news agency, ACNIS warned of mounting threats to civil liberties in Armenia, stressing that the country is suffering from “an unprecedented retreat from the ideal of democracy.”

ACNIS Director Richard Giragosian expressed concern over a recent incident involving a confrontation between an Armenian policeman and a journalist that ended with an arrest, and explained that it is only the latest sign of a growing problem in Armenia.  Specifically, there is a serious problem in Armenia when the police no longer serve the population, no longer “serve and protect” the people, but rather see any political activities as a threat.  Moreover, over the past several years, journalism has become the most dangerous profession in today’s Armenia, an unacceptable reality and an unprecedented retreat from the ideal of democracy.

This incident also reveals the current political polarization within Armenian society, as the authorities and their instruments of power, such as the police, fail to understand that every Armenian citizen has both the right and the responsibility to defend the freedoms of speech, expression and assembly.  This incident is neither an isolated example nor an exception, but may mark the beginning of an even more serious abuse of power in Armenia. The Armenian people deserve better, and it is now imperative that those in uniform uphold the integrity of their office and earn the people’s trust.

Direct link: ArmeniaToday (in Russian)

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) is a leading independent strategic research center located in Yerevan, Armenia.  As an independent, objective institution committed to conducting professional policy research and analysis, ACNIS strives to raise the level of public debate and seeks to broaden public engagement in the public policy process, as well as fostering greater and more inclusive public knowledge. Founded in 1994, ACNIS is the institutional initiative of Raffi K. Hovannisian, Armenia’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs.  Over the past fifteen years, ACNIS has acquired a prominent reputation as a primary source of professional independent research and analysis covering a wide range of national and international policy issues.

For further information on the Center call (37410) 52-87-80 or 27-48-18; fax (37410) 52-48-46; email root@acnis.am or info@acnis.am; or visit www.acnis.am.

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The Armenian version of the press release:

Armenian version