Deadly post-election protests in Armenia concern UN human rights chief
|Publisher||UN News Service|
|Publication Date||2 March 2008|
|Cite as||UN News Service, Deadly post-election protests in Armenia concern UN human rights chief, 2 March 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47cc02e61a.html [accessed 22 July 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, issued a statement in which she said she was particularly concerned that force was used against peaceful demonstrators yesterday and that opposition protesters have been detained.
Ms. Arbour called on the authorities in Armenia – where a state of emergency has been declared – to “exercise the utmost restraint and to ensure that due process is followed in the case of any detentions.”
The High Commissioner noted that Armenia is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which states that, even during states of emergency, fundamental rights such as the right to life and the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment cannot be suspended.
“Any restrictions of rights must be proportionate and may only be applied to the extent and duration strictly warranted by the circumstances,” the statement added.
Protests began in Yerevan after Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan was declared the winner of the 19 February presidential poll, a result that is disputed by the opposition candidate Levon Ter-Petrosyan.