Parliament of Armenia. Photo: REUTERS/Hayk Baghdasaryan/Photolure

16 April 2020, 22:03

In Armenia, law on hate rhetoric provokes skepticism among human rights defenders

Given the poor functioning of the judiciary, the law on criminal penalties for hate speech adopted by parliament is unlikely to be effective, suggest members of the organization "Journalists for Human Rights". Implementation of the law threatens freedom of speech, believes Naira Zograbyan, an MP from the "Prosperous Armenia" faction.

At a meeting of the Armenian parliament held on April 15, the MP adopted in the second and final reading the amendments to the Criminal Code of Armenia and related laws, criminalizing hate propaganda. 97 MPs voted for the amendments, while 14 opposed them.

In Armenia, hatred rhetoric has become a serious threat to democracy, believes Naira Zograbyan, an MP from the "Prosperous Armenia" faction. She blamed the ruling "My Step" Party for the above fact. According to Naira Zograbyan, the ruling party has split the Armenian society. However, the MP doubts the effectiveness of the law adopted today. "It will be very difficult to implement the law without badly affecting freedom of speech. The current power is constantly searching for counterrevolutionaries. Officials keep people in constant stress, and this leads to aggression and hatred," Naira Zograbyan told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

"To adopt the law is a good thing. However, we have a problem with justice in our country. So, I doubt very much that the bill will be able to change the situation," the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent was told by human rights defender Zhanna Aleksanyan, the head of the NGO "Journalists for Human Rights".

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 16, 2020 at 02:03 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Armine Martirosyan Source: CK correspondent

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