Proposal Not Objective
Assistant to the US State Secretary on Issues Regarding Democracy, Human Rights and Labor David Kramer came out with a press conference in the US Embassy in Armenia, yesterday.
“My visit is aimed at familiarizing myself with the process of works in the spheres of politics and human rights,” said David Kramer, who is planning to visit Tbilisy and Baku after leaving Yerevan.
Kramer said during the recent months collapse of democracy has been recorded in Armenia and they encourage the new government to solve this problem.
He also said: “In the number of other proposals we have also proposed the government to completely eliminate the restrictions on the press and demonstrations, and release all the detainees who have been detained for their political stances, to conduct serious and trustworthy investigation of March 1-2 developments, to start serious dialogue, where the opposition and the civil society should also be involved.”
Unfortunately most of the before mentioned proposals are not based on objectiveness. Let’s speak about these proposals one by one.
Firstly after the removal of the state of emergency, how can one speak about restrictions on the freedom of press? Moreover at the moment we have more pro-oppositional than pro-governmental newspapers in Armenia.
According to D. Kramer the conversation is about the restoration of the activity of “A1+” TV Company. In this issue as well the deputy State Secretary overlooked the fact that the ban on the activity of “A1+” was far not based on their political standpoints. By the way it has already been confirmed in the European Court of Human Rights.
In response to our question: “What does he mean by saying restrictions on the freedom of press?” David Kramer said: “When we speak about the freedom of press we mean that the journalists must be able to do their work and that there should be no intimidations towards them.
As regards the implementation of journalistic work and the exclusion of intimidations towards them, in this case as well it is really ridiculous to speak about the restrictions on the freedom of press.
Firstly: because in Armenia as anywhere in the world despite any kind of intimidations the journalists usually do their work. It is another issue that we must struggle against that really condemnable manifestation (intimidation).
Secondly: the before mentioned manifestations are not common in our country, but there are of course certain exclusions.
Four: these intimidations are not organized by the state. Certain entrepreneurs, officials or individuals make them and in some cases they are simply slanders.
Five: these intimidations are not only towards the pro-oppositional newspapers but also “Hayots Ashkharh” and many other pro-governmental newspapers.
Six: it is impossible to exclude intimidations even in case of a big desire. These manifestations are not excluded even in the most developed European countries and the USA.
It is really ridiculous even to speak about the restrictions on the freedom of demonstrations, because in many Council of Europe and European Union member countries the right to demonstrations is not exclusive. According to the Constitutions of those countries and Human Rights International Basic Document it is subject to restrictions and is necessarily restricted by the law.
Now let’s touch upon “those under detention for their political stances”. D. Kramer simply avoided giving at least one or two names of those political detainees. The state secretary said they have expressed concern to the government saying that only pro-oppositional representatives have been detained in connection with March 1-2 developments.
But who else should have been detained, in case when it was the activists of the pro-oppositional forces that organized and participated in March 1-2 developments.
Do David Kramer or the State Secretariat possess any facts that refute the results of the inquest? Of course no. We asked the deputy State Secretary whether or not he is familiar with the materials of the inquest, based on which he could do similar announcements about the existence of political detainees.
“In my view, it is enough to say that I completely trust the information provided by my colleagues from the Embassy. Frankly I trust this information more than the inquest materials.”
I think it is quite clear for you from where Kramer’s colleagues take the before mentioned information.