On Summoning UN Human Rights Council Special Session on the situation in Belarus

On 17 October 2019, Armenia was elected as a member of the UN Human Rights Council for the period of 2020-2022. Stressing the importance of this event, the Prime Minister of Armenia stated: “This is indicative of the important trust of the international community toward our country, especially in regard to defending human rights. I congratulate all of us.”  The Minister of Foreign Affairs made similar remarks: “Promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms, strengthening democratic values will be a high priority for Armenia’s endeavors at the Human Rights Council.”

It has already been a month since the people of Belarus started protesting against the dictatorial rule and election frauds. In response to the peaceful resistance, the authorities have resorted to violence, forced disappearance, and torture. Moreover, the government of Belarus has shown total disregard toward the calls of various international bodies, urging them to stop the violence and carry out proper investigations into human rights violations.

Considering the situation, Belarusian civil society and a number of renowned international organizations have appealed to the UN HRC to summon an extraordinary session on the human rights situation in Belarus.

It is noteworthy that the resistance of the people of Belarus resembles the developments in Armenia in April-May 2018. Here as well, citizens, after witnessing falsified elections and massive human rights abuses for over two decades, having numerous victims, political prisoners, multiple cases of torture and repression, took it to the streets to reject the dictatorial regime.

We consider that the government of Armenia, which came to power as a result of a peaceful velvet revolution, cannot simply ignore the events unraveling in Belarus. Armenia has a decisive role here.

Hence, we call on the Armenia government to consider the concerns raised by international organizations and show support to the summoning of an extraordinary session aimed at investigating the events in Belarus.

Being a member of the UN HRC, the government of Armenia has an obligation to restate its commitment to democratic values and human rights, where free elections, the right to be free from torture and violence, and fundamental freedoms are protected unequivocally.

Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor
“Asparez» Journalists’ Club
Open Society Foundations – Armenia
Transparency International Anticorruption Center
Law Development and Protection Foundation
Protection of Rights without Borders NGO
Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation (ACGRC)
Helsinki Association for Human Rights NGO
Center for Rights and Freedoms
All for Equal Rights Foundation
Centre for Community Mobilization and Support NGO
World Organisation Against Torture
Civil Youth Center NGO
Meghri Women’s Resource Center NGO
Martuni Women’s Community Council NGO
National Council for Intellectual Property NGO
Centre for Policy Studies
Human Rights Research Center
Public Journalism Club

Citizens of Armenia
Karen Тumanyan, Lora Melikyan, Liza Tchagharyan, Sergey Abrahamyan, Mariam Hakobyan, Arpine Petrosyan, Gevorg Gilants, Anush Aghajanyan, Lusine Khachatryan, Zareh Safaryan, Edgar Manucharyan, Armen Grigroyan, Karine Yaralyan, Armine Misakyan, Knarik Azatyan