Last Updated: Thursday, 31 July 2014, 17:47 GMT

UNHCR CDR Background Paper on Refugees and Asylum Seekers from Armenia

Publisher UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Author Centre for Documentation and Research
Publication Date 1 August 1995
Cite as UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNHCR CDR Background Paper on Refugees and Asylum Seekers from Armenia, 1 August 1995, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a6560.html [accessed 2 August 2014]
Comments This information paper was prepared in the Country Research and Analysis Unit of UNHCR's Centre for Documentation and Research on the basis of publicly available information, analysis and comment, in collaboration with Regional Bureau Responsible for Somalia and the UNHCR Statistical Unit. All sources are cited. This paper is not, and does not, purport to be, fully exhaustive with regard to conditions in the country surveyed, or conclusive as to the merits of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

Preface

Armenia has been an important source country of refugees and asylum seekers in the past few years. This paper seeks to describe the scope, destination, and causes of their movement.

In the first part, the paper provides a statistical overview of refugees and asylum seekers from Armenia in Western Europe, describing current trends in the number and origin of asylum requests as well as the results of their status determination. The data are derived from government statistics made available to UNHCR and are compiled by its Statistical Unit.

The second part of the paper contains information regarding the conditions in the country, which are often invoked by asylum seekers when submitting their claim for refugee status. The Country Information Unit of the Centre for Documentation and Research (CDR) conducts its research on the basis of publicly available information, analysis and comment, with all sources cited.

1.   Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Europe

This Chapter provides a statistical overview of refugees and asylum seekers in Western Europe in general and of refugees and asylum seekers from Armenia in particular. It is based on official government statistics provided to UNHCR over the period 1990-1994.

The following observations should be taken into consideration when comparing individual asylum statistics from different countries. Firstly, due to the absence of common standards for the compilation of such statistics, the scope for any detailed comparison is limited. For instance, data may refer to individuals or principal applicants ("cases"), who submit a request for asylum or to those who are admitted into the asylum procedure. Persons fleeing from former Yugoslavia and benefitting from temporary protection may be included or excluded. Even within countries, comparisons may be hampered due to changing counting practices over the years.

Refugee recognition rates have been calculated by dividing the number of Convention status recognitions ("Recognitions") by the total number of Convention status recognitions and negative decisions ("Rejected"). Humanitarian and other non-Convention status "recognitions", as far as they are reported in the asylum statistics, have been grouped together under one heading ("Allowed").

The general trend indicates an overall decline of new asylum requests in Western Europe, with the exception of a few countries. The number of 1951 Convention status recognitions in 1994 (47,400) declined slightly from (48,800) in 1993, while that for persons allowed to remain for humanitarian reasons decreased slightly from 59,500 in 1993 to 58,200 in 1994. Most significantly, the number of rejected cases fell by 26 per cent, from 510,000 in 1993 to 375,000 in 1994.

In the case of asylum seekers from Armenia, the total number of applications decreased from 7,300 in 1993 to 3,900 in 1994, while there were about 1,000 in 1992. Convention status recognition rates of Armenian asylum seekers represented 2 per cent during 1992-1994 and were relatively low compared to overall recognitions of between 9 and 11 percent during the same period.

1.1   Overall Trends in Asylum Applications

In 1994, some 329,000 persons applied for asylum in Europe, 40 per cent less than in 1993 (553,000) (see Table 1). Germany hosted almost 40 per cent of all the asylum seekers in Europe in 1994 (127,200) which, however, constituted a marked decrease compared to 1993 when nearly 60 per cent (323,000) of all asylum applications were lodged in Germany.

The Netherlands and the United Kingdom accounted for some 15 per cent of all asylum seekers in Europe during 1994. From 1993 to 1994, both countries more than doubled their share in European asylum applications.

Countries where 5 to 10 per cent of all applications in Europe were lodged during 1994 include France (8%), Sweden (6%), Switzerland (5%), and Belgium (4%). Countries with 2 per cent or less of all applications include Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway, Greece and Portugal.

From 1993 to 1994, the following changes in the number of asylum seekers by country were recorded in Europe: Austria (+7%), Belgium (-43%), Denmark (-54%), Finland (-58%), France (-6%), Germany (-61%), Greece (+60%), Italy (-7%), Netherlands (+49%), Norway (-74%), Portugal (-65%), Spain (-2%), Sweden (-50%), Switzerland (-33%), United Kingdom (+51%).

1.2   Trends in Convention Status Recognitions

Some 47,400 persons were granted Convention refugee status in Europe during 1994, slightly less than in 1993 (48,800). Germany granted refugee status to some 25,600 persons, 56 per cent more than in 1993, and to more than half of all persons granted Convention status recognition in Europe.

The Netherlands and France each granted Convention refugee status to more than 6,000 persons or 14 per cent of the European total. Countries which accorded between 1,000 and 3,000 Convention recognitions include Switzerland (3,000), Belgium (1,500) and the United Kingdom an estimated 1,400.

The following countries granted Convention refugee status to less than 1,000 persons during 1994: Sweden (790), Austria (680), Spain (630), Denmark (540), Italy (300), Greece (90), Finland (20), Norway (20) and Portugal (10).

During 1990-1994, Belgium, France and the Netherlands had significantly higher than average recognition rates of Convention status refugees which were twice as high compared to the overall rate in Europe (10 per cent). In Germany the Convention recognition rate doubled from 5 to 10 per cent during 1993-1994 (see Table 2).

1.3   Trends in Other "Humanitarian Recognitions"

During 1994, some 58,000 persons were granted a refugee-like status for humanitarian reasons, 20 per cent more than the number of persons granted Convention status recognition. Between 1990 and 1994 the number of Convention refugee recognitions increased by 63 per cent, while the number of non-Convention recognitions increased by 350 per cent. Sweden accounted for 64 per cent (36,560) of all "humanitarian recognitions" during 1994 (including 17,950 asylum seekers who were allowed to stay under a special "amnesty" in April 1994).

1.4   Asylum Applications from Armenian Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Asylum applications from Armenian nationals were recorded in Europe for the first time in 1992. During 1994, some 3,900 Armenians sought asylum, almost 50 per cent less than in 1993. During 1993 to 1994, the total number of Armenian asylum applications decreased from 89 to 55 per cent in Germany, whereas the number increased in the Netherlands from 5 to 28 per cent during the same time period (see Table 3).

1.5   Trends in Convention Status Recognitions of Armenian refugees

Some 150 Armenians were granted Convention refugee status in Europe, 50 per cent of whom were accepted by Germany, 25% by Spain and 18% by the Netherlands. Tables 2 and 4 indicate that Convention status recognitions for Armenians (2 per cent) were significantly lower than for all nationalities (11 per cent) (see Table 4).

1.6   Trends in Armenians Allowed to Remain for Humanitarian Reasons

During 1992-1994, the majority of Armenian asylum seekers were granted Convention refugee status as opposed to being allowed to remain on humanitarian grounds: 154 Armenians were granted Convention refugee status whereas 88 were allowed to remain on humanitarian grounds, 56 of whom were hosted by Sweden.

2. Country Profile

2.1 Basic Country Information

The Republic of Armenia (formerly the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic) is situated in mountainous south-west Transcausasia, on the north-eastern border of Turkey. Its other borders are with Iran in the south, Azerbaijan to the east and Georgia to the north. The Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic, part of the territory of Azerbaijan, is an enclave within Armenian territory. The Republic of Armenia, which today covers 29,800 sq km (11,506 sq miles), is the remnant of a much larger area of Armenian settlement that existed before the World War I and included many areas of eastern Turkey and other regions of the Caucasus. In mid-1993, owing to the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh (or Daglygh Karabakh), an autonomous oblast within Azerbaijan, ethnic Armenian militia controlled not only Nagorno-Karabakh itself but also areas of Azerbaijan's territory around the disputed enclave (Regional Surveys of the World, Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, 1994, 132).

Armenia declared its independence from the Soviet Union on 27 October 1991, following the failure of an August coup d'état in Moscow. Armenia is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) (Russia Briefing, Regional Survey: Armenia, 25 February 1994, 7). In the 1989 census, 93.3 per cent of the total de facto population of 3,288,000 were Armenians, 1.7 per cent Kurds and 1.5 per cent Russians. Other ethnic groups included Ukrainians (8,341), Assyrians (5,963), Greeks (4,650) and Georgians (1,364) (Regional Surveys of the World, Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States 1994, 132). Over one third of the population live in the capital Yerevan. Other important towns include Vanadzor (formerly Kirovakan) and Gumayri (formerly Leninakan). As a result of inter-ethnic tension, almost the entire Azerbaijani population (in 1989, some 2.6 per cent of the total population) was reported to have left Armenia after the census was conducted, and Armenian refugees entered Armenia from Azerbaijan. The estimated total population of Armenia on 1 January 1991, was 3,354,000.

The ethnic Armenian community numbers at least six million and is scattered around the world. Significant communities live in France, Greece and other countries in Europe, the USA and the Middle East. Over one million Armenians also live in neighbouring independent States, notably in Georgia, Azerbaijan and in Russia (Armenia and Karabakh: the struggle for unity, 1991, 10).

2.2   Ethnic Composition of the Population of Armenia

Armenia is the most ethnically homogeneous of the former Soviet republics. The Republic has traditionally been predominantly populated by Armenians. The estimated figure in 1994 was 96 per cent ethnic Armenians following the influx of Armenian refugees and the flight of most ethnic Azeris. Azeris were the largest ethnic minority, numbering 160,000 (Russia Briefing, Ethnic Composition, 25 February 1994, 7). Many were forcibly expelled by local authorities, others fled. Major violations of human rights occurred in connection with this exodus. Most of these Azeris have subsequently resettled in Azerbaijan. There are also some 100,000 people or 2.6 per cent of the population who are Ukrainians and Russians, living mostly in rural villages around the Krasnoselsk and Kalinin districts. In addition, there is also a significant Kurdish community, officially divided into Muslim Kurds and Yezidi Kurds (Ibid.).

The official language is Armenian, a distinct Indo-European language. Most of the population are taught Russian as a second language, and Kurdish is used in broadcasting and publishing for some 56,000 Kurds living in the Republic (Regional Surveys of the World, 1994, 133).

2.3   Post-Soviet Developments

Armenia, once one of the most prosperous of the Soviet republics, experienced a combination of adverse events in recent years, including a severe earthquake in December 1988, which killed over 250,000 people and left some 300,000 homeless. After an energy blockade brought about by the military confrontation between Azerbaijan and its predominantly Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, the economy collapsed (U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, 31 May 1994). These circumstances created severe economic dislocation and insecurity. The population now suffers from power shortages, and electricity is only available a few hours per day. Thousands have been forced to leave the country in search of work elsewhere (International Herald Tribune, 9 June 1995). Life has become particularly difficult for older people, whose pensions have lost much of their value and who are not in a position to take advantage of the new opportunities inherent in the dismantling of the socialist economy. At the same time, thousands of young people are out of work (The Economist, 9 April 1994, 32).

The Armenian diaspora in the new Soviet Independent States and the large Armenian communities throughout Europe, the United States, the Middle East and the rest of the world provide alternatives which appear more attractive to many Armenians facing the hardship of life at home. Individuals in the professions, the arts and sports, whose status and rewards have greatly declined, and whose skills are often transferable across national and language barriers, often find emigration attractive (U.S. Committee for Refugees, World Refugee Survey 1995, 124).

2.3.1  Economic Difficulties and Refugees in Armenia

Between 1991 and 1993 many Armenians left the country for Russia or further abroad primarily to escape economic difficulties. The Armenian Government estimates that over 120,000 Armenians uprooted from Azerbaijan now reside in Russia and other countries, many having left without going through any legal formalities (Covcas Bulletin, 9 March 1994).

Since 1994, the high migration trend that led many of those who were determined to be refugees in Armenia, to leave the country in search of better economic opportunities in other CIS countries, has been considerably reduced. While the State Department for Refugees in Armenia is not in a position to provide reliable figures on the current number of refugees in the country, a survey carried out in August 1994 by the Armenian authorities identified some 150,000 refugees to be particularly vulnerable and in need of humanitarian assistance. The total number, which is estimated by the authorities to be around 376,000 persons, will be clearly determined upon completion of the ongoing re-registration process undertaken by the State Department for Refugees, which is expected to be concluded at the end of 1995. Virtually all refugees are ethnic Armenians, mainly women, children, pensioners and invalids (UNHCR, A/AC.96/846/Part III/3, 8 August 1995, 3).

Armenia is still not considered a possible country of asylum or of transit by non-CIS asylum seekers. Thus far, the problem of access to the territory has not arisen, except for few exceptional cases coming from or through Iran/Turkey. While it is not known whether CIS border guards arrest and return to Iran/Turkey persons who could fall under the mandate of UNHCR, whenever such persons manage to cross the border, they are tolerated on the territory until they leave voluntarily or acquire residence status in Armenia (RFE/RL Daily Report, 27 June 1994).

Problems persist since neither a citizenship law or aliens' law nor refugee legislation have been adopted by the Parliament. It is likely that these issues will be dealt with by the new Parliamentary Assembly elected in July 1995. In the absence of such legislation the authorities increasingly consider those refugees who have obtained a permanent registration (propiska) to be de facto citizens of Armenia. It is estimated that some 60-65 per cent of the refugees hold a permanent propiska (U.S. Department of State, 31 May 1994).

During the course of 1994, refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh continued to return home. Some Armenians from Sukhumi repatriated voluntarily to Abkhazia, partly assisted by the Government which estimates that some 7,000 persons returned to Nagorno-Karabakh and only a few families to Abkhazia (UNHCR, A/AC.96/825/Part III/2, 8 August 1995, 3).

A recent report from the Armenian National Academy of Sciences said that over 50,000 refugees in Armenia lack a permanent residence permit, but they nonetheless enjoy civil rights and freedom (Armenian National Academy of Sciences, 1995). Many thousands of refugees from Azerbaijan have been given land plots, and many have built their own homes. During 1994, UNHCR rendered assistance to some 150,000 refugees categorized as "most vulnerable", but the organization considers that 2.5 million out of a population of 3.5 million could be considered as vulnerable (UNHCR, A/AC.96/846/Part III/3, 8 August 1995, 3).

Of the large numbers of Armenians who fled Azerbaijan and sought to resettle in Armenia, many subsequently moved to Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union. Although these individuals were permitted to resettle in Armenia, two factors contributed to the opposite effect. One was the difficult economic situation. Another was the fact that a high proportion of these people had few family ties in Armenia and were native Russian speakers who did not know Armenian or spoke it poorly and felt uncomfortable in a country whose predominant language was Armenian. One press account indicates that over 100,000 Armenians proceeded to Russia and that some 300,000 remain in Armenia, many of whom have indicated a desire to leave (EIU, Country Profile, 1994-95, 36-40).

2.3.2  Internally Displaced Persons

The primary cause of internal displacement has been shelling of border villages in the Nagorno- Karabakh conflict. A lasting cease-fire or peace agreement is a prerequisite for displaced persons to return home but the conclusion of such an agreement depends on the political will of both Armenia and Azerbaijan and on the skills of the main mediators (OSCE and the Russian Federation). Current measures undertaken by humanitarian agencies, including State agencies, may contribute to alleviate the burden of the displacement, but cannot solve the problem at its roots (UNHCR, Refugees, 1994, 23-24).

While the Government has issued instructions regarding assistance to border areas (see for instance Instruction No. 205 of 18 May 1993 regarding allocation of funds for repair of destroyed houses in border districts), there were no special legal measures protecting internally displaced persons, with the exception of persons originating from the Armenian enclave of Artsvashen. The Government of Armenia has issued a series of decrees and instructions with the aim of providing assistance to the 2,800 persons that were forced to flee from Artsvashen before the occupation by Azeri forces. (eg. Decrees No. 132 of 28 March 1994 regarding payment of unemployment allowances and instructions, No. 331 of 20 August 1992 (food assistance), No. 381 of 12 September 1992 (distribution of construction materials and solution to their shelter needs), No. 433 of 10 October 1992 (food and other assistance), No. 483 of 30 October 1992 (shelter assistance), No. 136 of 17 April 1993 (shelter assistance) (UNHCR, A/AC.96/825/Part III/2, 8 August 1994, 3).

2.3.3  The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

The ethnically Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region comprises roughly 1,700 square miles of mountainous terrain in southwestern Azerbaijan. According to the 1989 census, Nagorno-Karabakh's population was 75 per cent ethnic Armenian (145,000) and 25 per cent Azeri (40,688). Armenians living in Karabakh alleged that they suffered discrimination and had little decision-making power. In 1988, demonstrations in both Yerevan and Stepanakert called for the union of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. By early 1992 violence which had broken out, degenerated into full-scale war (Human Rights Watch, December 1994, xiv).

Nagorno-Karabakh declared its independence from Azerbaijan in January 1992 and is now entirely under Karabakh Armenian control but the fighting against the military forces of Azerbaijan continued (Reuters, 17 May 1994). Over seven years of inter-ethnic fighting, since 1988, between ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Azerbaijanis has cost an estimated 15,000 lives and created more than one million, mainly Azerbaijani, refugees. By mid- 1992, Karabakh Armenian troops had forced virtually all of Nagorno-Karabakh's Azeri population out of the mountain territory. Among these were 290,000 ethnic Armenian refugees who fled to Armenia from Azerbaijan, and Nagorno-Karabakh. Between 1993 - 1994, when the tide of the war shifted in favour of the Armenians, more than half of those who had fled Nagorno-Karabakh returned home. However, some 18,000 Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians remained in Armenia during 1994, as they had little chance of returning to their villages which had been destroyed in the hostilities. In addition, in early 1994, there were some 5,800 ethnic Armenian refugees from Abkhazia, the secessionist region of Georgia (U.S. Committee for Refugees, World Refugee Survey 1995, 124).

All parties to the conflict have condoned widespread hostage-taking, including non-combatant civilians and there have been many allegations of ill-treatment in detention (Amnesty International, August 1993). During 1994, the continuing Karabakh conflict made it difficult to investigate allegations that Azerbaijani civilians were taken hostage in connection with the fighting and held in Armenia, in private hands but with the complicity of the authorities (Amnesty International, 1995, 61).

There have been numerous attempts to stop the fighting. A 12 May 1994 cease-fire seems to have been generally holding for the past year. During the latest round of OSCE-sponsored peace talks, Azerbaijan and Armenia have not discussed the future status of Nagorno-Karabakh, but focussed on the return of part of Azerbaijan's territory (the Lachin corridor) to Azerbaijan's control (The Monitor, 31 July 1995). The Speaker of the Azerbaijan Parliament , Rasul Guliyev, said on Baku television on 30 July 1995 that Baku would like to settle the Karabakh conflict by peaceful means, but "if the aggressor does not wish to liberate our lands by peaceful means, we have no other choice but to search for other ways to free the territories he has captured", (Interfax 31 July 1995).

2.3.4 Recent Political Developments

After independence, the Republic of Armenia began to establish the foundations of a parliamentary democracy. The incumbent head of State, President Levon Ter-Petrossian was elected in free and fair elections on 21 October 1991 (Regional Surveys of the World, Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States 1994, 133). Until 1994, Armenia seemed to have avoided pitfalls created by the shortcomings of its democratic institutions. But that year marked a turning point: politics was marred by political assassinations, intolerance, charges of nepotism and corruption, impunity for wrongdoing committed by officials, repression of rights to freedom of expression and association, arbitrary arrests and torture, deaths in detention and the onset of police-state tactics (Covcas Bulletin, 31 May 1995, 4). There has been a reversal of this trend of declining support for the Government with the revival of the Social Democratic or Hunchak party, a relic from the Tsarist past (S. Goldenberg, 1994, 150). The opposition has no authoritative leader and is too divided to propose a joint candidate (Russia Briefing, 25 February 1994).

In April 1995, the Central Electoral Commission completed the registration of political parties and civic organizations eligible to enter candidates to contest the 40 National Assembly seats. A total of 22 such parties and organizations were approved, but the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF ) and other opposition parties were not on the list. While Armenia invited hundreds of international observers to witness its parliamentary elections, the election campaign was already marred in controversy amidst charges of fraud, improprieties, and violations of the Constitution and Law on Elections committed by the Central Electoral Commission. A number of opposition candidates reported intimidation, assassination attempts, and other types of pressure to withdraw their candidacies (Covcas Bulletin, 31 May 1995, 25-29).

On 17 June 1995, ten opposition parties, including the Armenian Democratic Party , the National Democratic Union, and the National Self-Determination/Christian Union, formed a coalition against the "Republik" block which includes the leading Armenian National Movement and the Liberal Democratic Party. The opposition organized a series of demonstrations and rallies, including one on 5 June where over 5,000 persons demonstrated in Central Yerevan. Several organizers of this rally were subsequently arrested and charged with breaches of the Criminal Code under "Articles 65 [anti-State agitation and propaganda] and 206 [organization or participation in group activities, social order]", (Covcas Bulletin, 14 June 1995). Some 15,000 people attended another demonstration in Yerevan organized by opposition parties to demand the immediate registration of political parties which were refused permission to participate in the parliamentary elections of 5 July; they also demanded that the elections be postponed (Covcas Bulletin, 21 July 1995, 12) and accused the Armenian Central Electoral Commission of violations of the law, improprieties, and fraud (Covcas Bulletin, 31 May 1995, 4).

Parliamentary elections were held on 5 July 1995, when the Republic of Armenia elected its first post-Soviet National Assembly and adopted a new Constitution by referendum. Some 68 per cent of citizens who voted approved the referendum (Covcas Bulletin, 12 July 1995). The ruling Armenian National Movement won the election and considered these results as a victory for democracy and the development of democratic institutions in Armenia (ITAR-TASS, 7 July 1995). On the other hand, the opposition refuted the result of the referendum, noting that it was achieved by the government's exclusion from the poll of some nine opposition parties, including Armenia's oldest, the ARF (Dashnak), and by artificially extending the voting time by two hours on 5 July (Agence France Presse, 5 July 1995). The Dashnak party, which has spearheaded public demonstrations and demands in Parliament for the President's resignation, and has considerable support among Armenians abroad, also charged the Government of human rights violations. The President subsequently expelled the head of that party, Hrair Marukyan, from Armenia. Mr. Marukyan, a Greek citizen, and his party were accused of having violated numerous laws affecting political organizations and of having collaborated with the KGB since 1988. In addition, the opposition claimed that there were many irregularities in the vote counting process (The Monitor, 14 July 1995). On the whole, foreign observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) criticized the way the parliamentary elections in the Republic were held and evaluated the elections as "free but unfair", (ITAR-TASS, 7 July 1995).

The official results of the 5 July 1995 election showed that over 80 percent of the newly elected National Assembly will be dominated by pro-government members as only a few opposition members were elected (Covcas Bulletin, 12 July 1995, 1). Opposition members and the Central Electoral Commission dismissed government claims and media reports that Armenians had ratified the constitution and elected a pro-government parliament, Noyan-Tapan news agency reported on 11 July 1995. Russian election observers joined Western observers in criticizing the way in which the elections were carried out (The Monitor, 12 July 1995).

2.3.5  Political Parties and Movements

The main political groups include the governing Armenian Pan-National Movement APM/ANM, the opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF or Dashnak), the Armenian Democratic Party (Ramgavar), the Union for National Self-determination, the National Democratic Union, founded in 1991 as a splinter party of the Armenian Pan-National Movement (APM) under the leadership of Vazgen Manoukian; and the Republican Party which was founded in 1990, following a split in the National Union for Self-determination. Its Chairman is Ashot Navasrdyan (Regional Surveys of the World, 142). These organizations created a National Pact in 1992 and began organizing rallies and demonstrations against President Ter-Petrossian. One of the parties, the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party, left the coalition subsequently. The Union for National Self-determination, like the Dashnak, the moderate right-wing opposition, the communist party and the President all favour a rapprochement with Russia (Russia Briefing, 25 February 1994).

The National Union for Self-determination (NUSD), was founded in 1991 and its leader is Paruir Harikyan. Representatives of this party have accused the Armenian National Movement of using terrorist attacks against it, but little convincing evidence has been presented so far. The Party of Democratic Freedom traditionally supports the President. The most important issue separating the President from most of the opposition parties is the contention by the latter that the Government has not been sufficiently aggressive in pursuing the liberation of Nagorno-Karabakh (EIU, Country Report, 2nd quarter 1995, 14).

The strongest opposition parties are the diaspora-sponsored Dashnaktsutyun, which leads the struggle in Nagorno-Karabakh (BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 12 February 1994), and the National Union for Self-determination (Russia Briefing, 25 February 1994, 6).

Armenian Pan-national Movement (APM) (Hayots Hamazgayin Sharjuin)

In 1989, the Karabakh Committee, the principal nationalist organization and other small political groups joined together under the name of Armenian Pan-National Movement APM/ANM. Armenia's movement for independence was led by Levon Ter-Petrossian, who was elected parliamentary chairman on 4 August 1990, President in October 1991 and for a second term on 5 July 1995. Ter-Petrossian is also head of the ANM, an umbrella movement which has the largest representation in Parliament. The Chairman is Rev. Husik Lazaryan (S. Goldenberg, 1994, 142). The Karabakh Committee was the principal nationalist organization (Regional Surveys of the World, 1994, 278).

Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) (Hai Heghapokhakan Dashnaktsutyun) (Dashnak)

Founded in 1890, its goal was the liberation of West Armenia from Turkey. It formed the ruling party in independent Armenia during 1918-20. It was prohibited under Soviet rule but it continued its activities in other countries. In February 1991, parliament introduced a law banning parties whose headquarters were outside Armenia and it also banned the receipt of funding from abroad. In 1991, the party was allowed to operate legally in Armenia, and since the end of 1990, ARF has created a daily newspaper (Yerkir - "Country") and a weekly newspaper (Azatamar -"Fight for freedom". Originally of a socialist orientation, the ARF reserves considerable place for social programmes and addresses problems of social protection. It claims the support of over 40,000 members. In Karabakh, the movement has popular support as a movement of national liberation as it plays an important role in recruiting members for the conflict. Divisions over Armenia's support for Karabakh intensified in late 1991 after ARF supporters were elected to power in the Armenian-dominated territory. The 1991 elections solidified the connection between radical elements in Nagorno-Karabakh and their supporters in Armenia. It gave the ARF in Yerevan added leverage against the President, allowing it to cast doubts on his patriotic commitment to the struggle in Karabakh: his reluctance to recognize Karabakh became the main criticism on the political front by the opposition (Covcas Bulletin, 31 May 1995, 7).

Armenian Democratic Party

The 4 August 1990 election of Ter-Petrossian as chairman of the Supreme Soviet over his rival, Communist Party Chairman, Vladimir Movsisian, effectively wrested control of the parliament from the Communist Party. The First Secretary elected in November 1990 was Stephan Karapetovich Pogosyan, an Armenian national. The Party's activities were suspended in September 1991, and attempts to revive the party in Summer 1992 under Sergo Badalyan came to little (Russia Briefing, 25 February 1994, 6). The former Communist Party of Armenia was renamed the Armenian Democratic Party in 1993. The party had five first secretaries in three years and in June 1993, it merged with the Social Democratic Party, Hanchak - the traditional name of the 19th century social democratic group. Beginning in April 1993, the Communist Party was officially recognized/accepted by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Armenia. The official newspaper (Mer Khosk - "Our words") was founded at the end of 1992 and it also publishes a weekly newspaper called Azdarar ("Herald"). The Communist Party is calling for closer links with Nagorno-Karabakh, between Armenia and Russia/the other CIS States. The Chairman is Aram Sarkisyan and the First Secretary of the Central Committee is Segueï Badalian (Political Parties in Armenia, 1994, 26).

Party of Democratic Freedom (Partiya Ramkavar Azatakan)

The party, founded in 1905, is described as liberal-democratic. It was revived in 1991 and has a good basis of support among the population. The party publishes a popular daily newspaper (Azg). It is in favour of non-socialistic economic development and supported Ter-Petrossian's presidential candidature in past elections. However, some members of the party now confess their regrets and distance themselves from the APM. They have traditionally been opposed to the Dashnak party and promote a pacifist settlement of the conflict in Karabakh. Their leader is Viguen Khatchatrian (Political Parties in Armenia, 1994, 15-17).

3.   The Human Rights Situation

3.1   International and National Legal Framework

Armenia is party to several international human rights conventions, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which it acceded to on 13 September 1993; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, acceded to on 23 June 1993; the Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights acceded to 23 June 1993; the Covenant on the Elimination of All forms of Racial Discrimination, acceded to on 13 September 1993; the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, acceded to on 23 June 1993; the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, ratified 23 September 1993; the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified on 23 June 1993; the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women, acceded to on 13 September 1993; Armenia acceded to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment on 13 September 1993. Armenia became a State party to the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity on 21 September 1993, and is a State party to the Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons on 18 May 1994 and the Convention on the reduction of Statelessness as of 18 May 1994. Armenia acceded to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees on 6 July 1993; and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees was acceded to on 6 July 1993.

While Armenia has acceded to the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Government has not enacted any legislative measures to guarantee specifically the protection of the rights of children in general, and specifically, refugee children and children of asylum seekers. Nor are there any regulations on the matter. In addition, despite a commitment to international obligations, Armenia has in several instances not brought its local laws into conformity with its international obligations. In many cases, it has failed to implement the requirements of international legal instruments. In this context, it should be noted that a new Constitution adopted by referendum on 5 July 1995, introduced general protection of civil, political and other human rights.

3.2   General Respect for Human Rights

In 1994, the Armenian authorities were accused of violations of the right to privacy and of the freedom of speech. The year marked a turning point for Armenia as its domestic political scene was replete with political assassinations, intolerance, repression of the right to freedom of association and expression and the establishment of the rule of force instead of the rule of law (Human Rights Advocates, 3 February 1995, 9).

In respect of due process: Armenian authorities failed to observe minimum standards of due process in violation of Articles 9, 13, 14 and 17 of the ICCPR. Several ARF members were arrested on suspicion of being members of DRO, an alleged clandestine terrorist group within the ARF, without search warrants and charged with various criminal offenses. They claimed not to have been allowed to receive family visits nor family parcels (Human Rights Advocates, 3 February 1995, 1). At the trial, several of the accused ARF members, all of whom pleaded innocent, claimed that their reported confessions had been extracted by force and were thus null and void (The Monitor, 17 August 1995).

On the principle of derogation from or restrictions on human rights obligations: Armenian authorities, during 1994, violated Article 4 of the ICCPR based on a "clear and present danger". Without resorting to due process and discharging the evidentiary burden, the Government seems to be using the "clear and present danger" argument, which applies to situations "in times of emergency when the life of the nation is being threatened", to justify some of the measures taken against the ARF and its members (Human Rights Advocates, 3 February 1995, 1).

Representatives of international agencies maintain that would-be prisoners of war on both sides in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are summarily executed at military front lines (U.S. Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 1995). Amnesty International continued to express concern over allegations that hostages from the Karabakh conflict were held in Armenia (February, 1995).

After a recent mission to Armenia, Human Rights Advocates reported that during the period 1994 to 1995, Armenian authorities violated the country's human rights obligations in a number of areas, for instance, the 28 December 1994 Presidential decree suspending the leading opposition political party was held to be in disregard of the freedom of political association. Similarly, the Supreme Court's decision on 13 January 1995, to uphold the presidential decree to suspend the activities of the ARF for six months, failed to take into account Article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which guarantees freedom of political association (3 February 1995, 1).

The human rights situation in Armenia in early 1995 was marred by the death in prison of an opposition activist, detained since December 1994, on charges related to the suspension of activities of the ARF party (Covcas Bulletin, 24 May 1995, 1). Policemen who were awaiting trial in connection with the 1993 death of a detainee in custody were released with the understanding that they would not leave Yerevan but all have subsequently left the country (U.S. Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 1995).

3.2.1  Groups at Risk

There are no particular ethnic, social, or other groups that may be identified as major victims of human rights violations. Armenia hosts a small number of German, Greek, Jewish, Russian, and Ukrainian nationals. Although their number is constantly decreasing, as many of them return to their historic homelands, those that remain, complain about the fact that the whole state education system is being reorganized and effected in Armenian. In addition, members of two groups of ethnic Armenians have advanced claims of mistreatment in Armenia. One group consists of several thousands of Armenians from Iran and the Middle East who emigrated to Armenia in the 1930's and 1940's, and their descendants. A second group involves Armenians from Azerbaijan, who have sought sanctuary in Armenia in recent years to escape the ethnic conflict between Armenians and Azeris in the neighbouring republic. Both groups can be distinguished from "native" Armenians by their accents and culture. It appears that there has been some popular resentment against both (Human Rights Watch / Helsinki Watch, 1994, 194-196).

There is no indication of mistreatment of other ethnic minorities, including the small Jewish community (numbering under one thousand), many of whose members have gone to Israel for economic and cultural reasons. There is no synagogue in Yerevan, but a report published by the Union of Councils of Soviet Jews in July 1993, indicated that there is a Sunday Hebrew school (U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, 31 May 1994). The major exception is the treatment of ethnic Azeris, virtually all of whom were expelled from the country in 1988 and 1989. (Azeris are a traditionally Moslem, Turkish-speaking people, whose members predominate in the neighbouring Republic of Azerbaijan as well as parts of northern Iran). After the 1988 to 1989 anti-Armenian pogroms in Azerbaijan connected with the conflict over control of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Government of Armenia discriminated against these ethnic Azeris which numbered some 200,000, and allowed the local population to intimidate and harass them, often violently, as a way to drive them out of the country (U.S. Department of State, February 1995). There have also been claims of harassment by families of mixed ethnic background in which one spouse is Azeri and the other Armenian. In instances where firm resettlement elsewhere, such as in Russia, has not taken place, such claims may merit careful attention (Russia Briefing, Regional Survey: Armenia, 25 February 1994, 7).

3.2.2  Treatment of Dashnak Political Activists

On 28 December 1994, President Ter-Petrossian announced that he had issued a decree suspending indefinitely the activities of the country's leading opposition party the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF). The President claimed that a clandestine terrorist group, named Dro, was created within the ARF structure, and that this group was responsible for criminal activities (political assassinations, trafficking of narcotics, political, military and economical spying). Security forces searched without warrants all ARF offices as well as homes of its leadership. Throughout December 1994, dozens of ARF members were detained and placed under investigation for alleged criminal offenses. The authorities also sealed off the offices of another opposition political party in December 1994, the Constitutional Rights Union (CRU) but one month later, CRU party officials were permitted to return to their offices (Covcas Bulletin, 31 May 1995, 25-27).

In May 1995, allegations of torture committed against ARF detainees multiplied; an ARF activist, Ardavast Manukian died while in police custody (Covcas Bulletin, 31 May 1995, 25- 27). One month later, the Chief Guard at Armenia's National Security Agency's Prison committed suicide (Covcas Bulletin, 21 June 1995,12).

Armenia's National Security Ministry announced on 4 August 1995 that 14 individuals arrested since July 28, mostly members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnak) led by Vahan Hovanessian, were allegedly planning to assassinate the Defense Minister, Vazgen Sarkisyan, to use terrorist tactics to create chaos in the country, and to go on from there to seize power (The Monitor, 7 August 1995). The six-months ban on the activities of the Dashnak party ended on 12 July 1995, but the Government of Armenia is thought to have no plans to allow this group to resume its operations (Ibid.). The arrests represented the latest step in the government's campaign of intimidation against the opposition. Another Dashnak Bureau member, Ruben Hovsepian, told Radio Liberty on 2 August 1995 that should his party have to resort to terrorism, it would take responsibility for it (The Monitor, 8 August 1995).

3.2.3  Press Censorship

On 29 December 1994, the authorities closed down a dozen newspapers and wire services including the country's largest circulation newspaper, Yerkir Daily and Hailour which were affiliated to the Dashnak Party (The International Herald Tribune, 9 June 1995). Newspapers, journals, magazines and other news media as well as related political organizations were shut down during the course of 1994-95, in violation of Article 19 of the ICCPR. Other non-political publications were also shut down (Covcas Bulletin, 31 May 1995, 25-27). Neither the presidential decree nor the Supreme court ruling to suspend the activities of the ARF referred to the party's affiliated publications, though the security agency raided the offices without search warrants and searched the premises, seized equipment, sealed some offices and ordered that others cease publication (Ibid.).

In July 1995, after the parliamentary elections, the Government of Armenia closed down another opposition daily newspaper. The ostensible reason was the paper's debt to printers, but the paper's editor said that other pro-government papers had greater debts but were not being forced to close (The Monitor, 12 July 1995).

3.2.4 Religious Groups

The law of the Republic of Armenia on religion was adopted in 1991 and provides for freedom of conscience and the right to practice one's faith. Church and State are recognized as separate entities. The major religion is Christianity. The Armenian Apostolic Church which occupies a semi-official status, is the leading denomination, and it identifies with the movement for national independence (The Europa World Yearbook 1993, 373). Proselytization by other groups is officially prohibited, and to be registered, religious organizations must demonstrate that they are spiritual in nature, based on historically recognized holy scriptures, and part of the ecclesiastical community. Given the legacy of the Soviet restrictions of religious activities, isolated instances of religious intolerance may, however, be found (US Department of State, February 1995).

In December 1994, 17 devotees of the Hare Krishna sect alleged that they were beaten in police custody on 31 August 1994 in Yerevan. They claimed to have been detained at their temple after an altercation with men who had aggressed several members of the sect. They also claimed that the police refused to give them protection when they complained of the aggression against their members (Amnesty International, Report 1995, 62).

During the first quarter of 1995, a pattern of systematic harassment by the authorities against members of minor non-Apostolic religious denominations emerged (Covcas Bulletin, 24 May 1995, 2). Members of at least eight denominations were victims of acts of violence including Hare Krishna, Seventh Day Adventists, the Bahai, the Pentecostal Church, the Charismatic Church, the Evangelical Baptists, the Moonies and Jehovah's Witnesses. The victims complained that religious objects and money were seized, and that several members were beaten. Some members were detained and later released. Although formal complaints were made to the State Department for Religion, the victims were not given any satisfactory advice on the measures to adopt to pursue legal action against the perpetrators and no action has been known to have been brought against them (Covcas Bulletin, 12 May 1995; 24 May 1995, 1-2). However, on 12 May 1995, the Minister of the Interior apologized to the victimized members of religious groups for the hooligan attacks against them and informed that legal action will be taken against the perpetrators ( Covcas Bulletin, 12 May 1995, 6). In spite of the Minister's statement there have been no reported arrests and no action taken to date against anyone in connection with the allegations made.

Generally, the law on religion is in line with the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights save for the prohibition on proselytism and the subjective restriction applied by the state department for religion to denominations before they can be registered (EIU, Country Report, 2nd quarter 1995). The authorities may, however, consider some small religious denominations as advocates of conscientious objection and draft evasion and, therefore treat them as disturbing elements to Armenian society (Covcas Bulletin, 28 April 1995).

3.2.5  Prisoners of War

Following an announcement in February 1994 by the Armenian Foreign Ministry, that eight prisoners of war from Azerbaijan were shot while trying to escape, an independent forensic scientist found that six of the men had been killed by a single gunshot wound to the head and this was held not to be consistent with the assertion made by the Armenian authorities that they had been shot while trying to escape (Amnesty International, 22 April 1994). This incident corroborated the allegations that Armenian authorities have inflicted inhuman treatment on Azeri prisoners of war including civilians. Their treatment may amount to a gross violation of the main provisions of the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Hostages and Wounded to which Armenia is a State Party.

3.2.6  Conscripts and Deserters

The applicable rules for draft evasion/desertion are still those of the former Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic criminal code. The penalties contained therein are:

i)          Imprisonment from three months to three years in times of peace and from three to ten years in times of war for draft evasion: (Article 247).

ii)         Non-authorized absence from service for a period of less than three days is punishable by imprisonment for three months to two years in peace time and from two to ten years in times of war: (Article 253).

iii)         Non-authorised absence from service for a period of more than three days is punishable by one year to five years imprisonment and if the absence lasts longer than one month, by three to seven years imprisonment. In times of war, penalties vary from five to ten years: (Article 254).

iv)        Desertion is punishable by three to seven years imprisonment in times of peace and from five to ten years imprisonment to the death penalty in times of war: (Article 255).

With regard to jurisprudence, no decisions have, as yet, been made in the cases which were brought before the courts. There are reports however, that in several cases court proceedings against alleged deserters were dropped after the detainee had agreed to perform military service. The call-up age is 18 years and pre-draft duty described in Article 3 of the Armenian law on military service does not reduce the call-up age from 18 to 16 years, but introduces certain obligations such as registration in the call-up list and a duty to undergo a medical check-up.

Despite repeated official assurances to the contrary, illegal conscription methods continue in Armenia, including indiscriminate manhunts in the streets of the capital for youths eligible to do military service (Covcas Bulletin, 9 November 1994). In many instances during 1994 and in 1995, military recruitment commissioners interfered with the right to privacy of citizens as well as refugees (Covcas Bulletin, 18 January 1995). Recruitment personnel visited the homes of draft-age men and often threatened or detained the occupants or inflicted material damage to them. Able-bodied males were seized at market places, bus and railway stations and other public places (U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 1995). It is believed that such recruitment practices have caused part of the male Armenian population to leave the country (Human Rights Advocates, 3 February 1995).

On 15 April 1995, Noyan-Tapan news agency of Yerevan, reported that "deserters should not expect a peaceful future". According to the report, a Minister of State of Armenia and Chairman of the military draft commission, Vazgen Sarkisyan, stated that the names of all deserters are known, that they would be "blacklisted" and eventually prosecuted by the courts. Yet, Armenian officials deny reports of forced conscription to boost the Karabakh war effort, and men of military age are stopped from flying out of Yerevan unless they can prove that they have completed their military service (Reuters, 17 May 1995). The death penalty is provided for in the Armenian criminal code as the punishment for desertion in times of war.

According to Noyan-Tapan news agency, Armenian officials reported on 7 July 1995, that the Armenian spring military draft exercise was successfully fulfilled by 113 per cent (The Monitor, 13 July 1995).

3.2.7  Future Considerations

The year 1994 marked a turning point on the domestic political scene in the Republic of Armenia: there were political assassinations, repression of freedom of speech and assembly, illegal conscription and intolerance for political opposition. Added to this, the energy blockade and economic difficulties have provided a warning that further development and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms are at risk.

There appears to be an urgent need for international agencies to supervise the treatment of hostages and prisoners of war; and to try to achieve exchanges and releases as soon as possible.

According to the official results of the 5 July 1995 parliamentary election, the Republic of Armenia elected its first post-Soviet National Assembly and adopted a new constitution by referendum. Several opposition parties were not allowed to contest the elections and hopes that the ARF, Dashnak party would be allowed to operate again as the leading opposition party were dashed when the Government of Armenia sought on 16 August 1995, to extend suspension of its activities for another year (The Monitor, 17 August 1995). A long-term political solution cannot therefore be prejudged.

Consolidation of the work of the Human Rights Centre established in 1995 is being viewed with optimism as a mechanism to strengthen national legislation, national institutions and the related infrastructure which could provide for and uphold human rights, the rule of law and democracy in Armenia.

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___,

"Armenia- Azerbaijani Prisoners of War Killed in Execution-Type Shootings," 22 April 1994

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"Armenia: violation of civil and political rights", 31 May 1995

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"Armenia: Human Rights deteriorate: detainee dies in custody" 24 May 1995

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"US State Department protests assault on Evangelical community in Armenia" as quoted from Asbarez-on-Line, 6, 12 May 1995

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"Krishna attacked in Yerevan", 27 April 1995

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"Freedom of conscience at risk in Armenia", 28 April 1995

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9 March 1994

___,

" Military draft violations continue in Armenia", quoting Lragir Daily [Yerevan]

The Economist Intelligence Unit,

Country Profile: Armenia, 1994-95, London, 1994

___,

Country Report, "Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan", 2nd quarter, 1993

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Country Profile, "Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan", 1993/94, London, 1993

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Country Report, "Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan", No. 4, London, 1992

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"Armenia: An unusual Armenian vote-winner", 16 April 1994

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"Armenia Nuclear power better than cold", 9 April 1994

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Vol. II, Kent, 1992

Goldenberg, S.,

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The Russian Information Agency, "Armenia's Republic Bloc wins Parliamentary Elections", 7 July 1995

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The Monitor,

"Yerevan seeks to extend suspension of Dashnak party", Jamestown Foundation [Electronic Format]

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"DRO Trial in Armenia", 8 August 1995

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"More Arrests in Armenia", 7 August 1995

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"Baku ready to make peace in Armenia", 1 August 1995

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"Armenian authorities arrest Dashnak leaders", 31 July 1995

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"Armenian Government announces election results", 14 July 1995

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"Armenian draft over fulfilled", 13 July 1995

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"Election results remain in dispute in Armenia", 12 July 1995

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RFE/RL Daily Reports,

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Reuters,

"Forced conscription as Armenia shows strain of war", 17 May 1994

Russia Briefing,

"Ethnic Composition", London, 25 February 1994

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Armenia: Regional Survey, London, 25 February 1994

United Nations General Assembly,

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; Activities financed by voluntary funds: Report for 1993-1994 and proposed programmes and Budget for 1995, Part III. Europe: Section 2 - Armenia, A/AC.96/825/Part III/2, Geneva, 8 August 1994

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United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; Activities financed by voluntary funds: Report for 1994-1995 and proposed programmes and Budget for 1996, Part III. Europe: Section 3 - Armenia, A/AC.96/846/Part III/3, Geneva, 8 August 1995

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Statistical Tables

Table 1: Submission of asylum applications and their adjudication, Europe, 1990-1994

Country

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

Total

'90

'91

'92

'93

'94

Total

 

Austria

Appl.

22,790

27,310

16,240

4,750

5,080

76,170

5%

5%

2%

1%

2%

3%

 

Recogn.

860

2,470

2,290

1,200

680

7,500

3%

7%

7%

2%

1%

4%

 

Reject.

11,780

17,220

21,200

14,200

8,340

72,740

5%

6%

6%

3%

2%

4%

 

Allowed

–

–

–

–

–

–

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

Belgium

Appl.

12,960

15,170

17,650

26,880

14,350

87,010

3%

3%

3%

5%

4%

3%

 

Recogn.

680

590

760

1,040

1,510

4,580

2%

2%

2%

2%

3%

2%

 

Reject.

1,150

1,680

2,010

2,520

3,270

10,630

0%

1%

1%

0%

1%

1%

 

Allowed

–

–

–

–

–

–

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

Denmark

Appl.

5,290

4,610

13,880

14,350

6,650

44,780

1%

1%

2%

3%

2%

2%

 

Recogn.

710

990

750

650

540

3,640

2%

3%

2%

1%

1%

2%

 

Reject

..

..

..

..

..

..

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

 

Allowed

1,400

1,980

2,020

2,090

1,360

8,850

9%

8%

5%

4%

2%

4%

Finland

Appl.

2,730

2,140

3,630

2,020

840

11,360

1%

0%

1%

0%

0%

0%

 

Recogn.

20

20

10

10

20

80

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

 

Reject.

330

630

1,340

1,440

490

4,230

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

 

Allowed

140

1,700

560

2,070

300

4,770

1%

7%

1%

3%

1%

2%

France

Appl.

53,070

46,540

26,910

27,570

26,040

180,130

12%

8%

4%

5%

8%

7%

 

Recogn.

13,540

15,980

10,810

9,910

6,210

56,450

47%

43%

32%

20%

13%

29%

 

Reject.

74,510

65,780

27,580

25,580

23,810

217,260

31%

22%

8%

5%

6%

12%

 

Allowed

–

–

–

–

–

–

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

Germany

Appl.

193,060

256,110

438,190

322,610

127,210

1,337,180

44%

46%

63%

58%

39%

52%

 

Recogn.

6,520

11,600

9,190

16,400

25,580

69,290

23%

32%

27%

34%

54%

35%

 

Reject.

116,270

128,820

163,640

347,990

238,390

995,110

49%

44%

49%

68%

64%

57%

 

Allowed

–

–

–

–

–

–

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

Greece

Appl.

6,170

2,670

1,850

810

1,300

12,800

1%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

 

Recogn.

170

120

60

40

90

480

1%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

 

Reject.

2,330

5,210

1,740

710

670

10,660

1%

2%

1%

0%

0%

1%

 

Allowed

–

–

–

–

–

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

Italy

Appl.

3,170

23,300

2,490

1,530

1,430

31,920

1%

4%

0%

0%

0%

1%

 

Recogn.

820

800

340

130

300

2,390

3%

2%

1%

0%

1%

1%

 

Reject.

560

15,660

6,620

1,300

1,390

25,530

0%

5%

2%

0%

0%

1%

 

Allowed

–

–

–

–

–

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

Netherlands

Appl.

21,210

21,620

17,460

35,400

52,570

148,260

5%

4%

3%

6%

16%

6%

 

Recogn.

690

780

4,820

10,340

6,650

23,280

2%

2%

14%

21%

14%

12%

 

Reject.

9,000

14,540

20,330

15,780

32,150

91,800

4%

5%

6%

3%

9%

5%

 

Allowed

860

1,920

6,890

4,660

12,690

27,020

5%

7%

17%

8%

22%

13%

Norway

Appl.

3,960

4,570

5,240

12,880

3,380

30,030

1%

1%

1%

2%

1%

1%

 

Recogn.

110

100

60

50

20

340

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

 

Reject.

2,060

2,270

2,880

4,690

2,960

14,860

1%

1%

1%

1%

1%

1%

 

Allowed

1,220

1,650

1,040

470

1,770

6,150

7%

6%

3%

1%

3%

3%

Portugal

Appl.

80

240

690

2,090

730

3,830

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

 

Recogn.

40

10

20

40

10

120

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

 

Reject.

50

50

0

600

1,700

2,400

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

 

Allowed

–

–

–

40

–

–

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

Spain

Appl.

11,730

11,060

11,710

12,250

12,000

58,750

3%

2%

2%

2%

4%

2%

 

Recogn.

380

240

450

1,290

630

2,990

1%

1%

1%

3%

1%

2%

 

Reject.

2,990

5,475

10,590

16,250

12,210

47,515

1%

2%

3%

3%

3%

3%

 

Allowed

..

..

..

..

..

0

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

Sweden

Appl.

29,420

27,350

84,020

37,580

18,640

197,010

7%

5%

12%

7%

6%

8%

 

Recogn.

2,170

1,400

620

1,050

790

6,030

8%

4%

2%

2%

2%

3%

 

Reject.

4,500

4,300

8,200

41,420

10,300

68,720

2%

1%

2%

8%

3%

4%

 

Allowed

9,220

15,530

8,770

34,720

36,560

104,800

56%

60%

21%

58%

63%

52%

Switzerland

Appl.

35,840

41,560

18,140

24,110

16,130

135,780

8%

7%

3%

4%

5%

5%

 

Recogn..

570

880

1,540

3,830

2,940

9,760

2%

2%

5%

8%

6%

5%

 

Reject.

11,150

28,480

30,140

18,700

18,740

107,210

5%

10%

9%

4%

5%

6%

 

Allowed

–

–

–

–

–

–

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

UK (1)

Appl.

38,200

73,400

32,300

28,000

42,200

214,100

9%

13%

5%

5%

13%

8%

 

Recogn.

1,590

800

1,900

2,860

1,400

8,550

6%

2%

6%

6%

3%

4%

 

Reject.

860

5,390

35,480

18,550

20,920

81,200

0%

2%

11%

4%

6%

5%

 

Allowed

3,610

2,950

21,680

15,480

5,450

49,170

22%

11%

53%

26%

9%

24%

Total

Appl.

439,680

557,650

690,400

552,830

328,550

2,569,110

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

 

Recogn..

28,870

36,780

33,620

48,840

47,370

195,480

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

 

Reject.

237,540

295,505

331,750

509,730

375,340

1,749,865

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

 

Allowed

16,450

25,730

40,960

59,490

58,170

200,760

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Notes

– = Not applicable

.. = Not available

Table 2: 1951 UN Convention recognition rates (1)

Country

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

Total

Austria

7%

13%

10%

8%

8%

9%

Belgium

37%

26%

27%

29%

32%

30%

Denmark

..

..

..

..

..

..

Finland

6%

3%

1%

1%

4%

2%

France

15%

20%

28%

28%

21%

21%

Germany

5%

8%

5%

5%

10%

7%

Greece

7%

2%

3%

5%

12%

4%

Italy

59%

5%

5%

9%

18%

9%

Netherlands

7%

5%

19%

40%

17%

20%

Norway

5%

4%

2%

1%

1%

2%

Portugal

44%

17%

100%

6%

1%

5%

Spain

11%

4%

4%

7%

5%

6%

Sweden

33%

25%

7%

2%

7%

8%

Switzerland

5%

3%

5%

17%

14%

8%

United Kingdom

65%

13%

5%

13%

6%

10%

Total

11%

11%

9%

9%

11%

10%


Notes:

(1) Convention recognitions divided by Convention recognitions plus rejections

.. = Not Available

 

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