Tag: Armenia

11 Apr 2018

ARMENIAN WOMEN: LEADERSHIP, EMPOWERMENT AND HUMAN RIGHTS

The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) / Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Series on Contemporary Armenian Issues

All ASA’s at Boston Area Universities

AGBU-YP Boston

Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA)

New Paths-Bridging Armenian Women

and

The Armenian Bar Association

 

Present a Panel Discussion

ARMENIAN WOMEN: LEADERSHIP, EMPOWERMENT, AND HUMAN RIGHTS

 

Hosted and Co-Sponsored by the Tufts Armenian Club

 

Many studies have demonstrated that investment in women and girls strengthens democracy and weakens authoritarianism, makes families healthier, peace agreements more durable and societies less vulnerable to extremism, violence and terrorist recruitment. Unfortunately, many studies also show that gender discrimination and physical assaults on women are global and systemic in nature. From the Me Too movement, women’s marches in Washington, NYC and Boston, all the way to the City Council in Yerevan, it has become painfully clear that violence against women is a worldwide phenomenon. The panelists will examine the causes, costs, and consequences of gender discrimination and violence against women in Armenia and the Diaspora. The conversation will draw from experiences in Southeast Asia with a focus on empowerment of women as it relates to development strategies, civil society development and democratization.

 

Featuring the Participation of Panelists:

Dr. Denise Horn (Associate Professor & Chair, Political Science & International Relations, Simmons College)

Nairi Krafian (Past President, Tufts University Armenian Club)

Nvard Manasyan (via Skype) (Gender Equality Officer, UNICEF)

Maro Matossian (Executive Director, Women’s Support Center, Armenia)

Moderated by Dr. Anna Ohanyan, Richard B. Finnegan Distinguished Professor of Political Science and International Relations, Stonehill College

 

Free and open to the public. Reception and refreshments immediately following the program and question-and-answer session. Contact hq@naasr.org or 617-489-1610 for more information.

27 Oct 2017

Women Leaders Of The Armenian Bar Board of Governors Support Domestic Violence Bill In Armenia

In 1915, the generation of our great-grandmothers was taken against their will as young girls, forcibly becoming child brides and sexual chattel of the enemy men.   So began the girls’ lifetimes of battery and bondage at the whim of the dirty hands and wanton bodies of the shameless perpetrator.  And now, in 2017, in our own homeland, a most disconcerting discussion is taking place in the context of the Republic of Armenia’s consideration of long-overdue legislation which would penalize the crime of domestic violence.  This is not the first time that the Armenian Bar Association has stood up for the rights and dignity of the women and girls of Armenia.[https://armenianbar.org/2016/10/26/arwc-urges-passage-of-domestic-violence-laws-in-armenia/]

In a twisted tangle of logic, public opposition to the proposed bill is bubbling up from a not-insignificant number of vocal female apologists who have derided the legislative initiative as a threat to traditional Armenian family values and as an attack on the cohesiveness of the time-honored family unit. They claim that the ruinous wrongs of their offending men should be relativized because prosecuting them would lead to the displacement of their children from the family hearth. They say that we should stay out of their business and keep our opinions to ourselves.

We say voch to the perpetuation of the vicious dehumanization of the Armenian woman, especially when the monstrous brutality is inflicted by members of the same family–father on daughter, husband on wife, uncle on niece.  Simply put, get off of our mothers, get off of our sisters, and get off of our daughters.  Enough is enough.

It is that we hold our families in the highest regard that the Armenian woman sacrificed and sometimes survived the death marches into the desert during the Genocide.  It is that we hold our families in the highest regard that we found temporary shelter in Europe and the Middle East only to repatriate to our homeland after World War II in order to instill and uplift our nation’s values.  It is in that same regard for family that we will not stand idly by and allow our children to learn violence from their fathers, or to live in an environment where beatings of their mothers are commonplace.

There is no room for criminal violence in an Armenian household—or any household– and, for this, we rise with our sisters, here, in Hayastan, and everywhere to demand that the National Assembly adopt legislation that protects the safety and security of the Armenian family.

14 Jul 2017

THE SAGA OF AN AMERICAN CITIZEN ABROAD: ABANDONED BY JUSTICE IN ARMENIA?

The United States Constitution guarantees to American citizens certain inalienable rights. Foremost among these is the right of Americans to be “free and safe.”

These rights, the very bedrock of American ideals, do not end the moment an American citizen crosses the United States border to enter another land. In fact, the United States Department of State stipulates that it is charged with the responsibility of protecting and assisting United States citizens living or traveling abroad.

Garo Yegnukian is a United States citizen who for the past year has been held in an Armenian prison.

The Armenian Rights Watch Committee of the Armenian Bar Association (ARWC) is concerned at the reported lack of adequate measures being taken by the United States to protect and assist one of its own citizens — Mr. Yegnukian.

In 2009, driven by a passion to help the fledgling homeland of his Armenian heritage, Yegnukian and his family took up residence in Armenia. This move was both a dream and an aspiration to put his vast experience to use in Armenia and to use his entrepreneurial skills to create business opportunities.

In July 2016, when widespread protests were taking place in Armenia, Mr. Yegnukian, among others, was arrested in the aftermath of the peaceful demonstrations. Mr. Yegnukian was accused of what the Armenian government alleged was aiding and abetting militants who had taken over a Yerevan police compound.

The charges against Mr. Yegnukian stem from alleged telephone conversations he had with the Sasna Dzrer (Daredevils of Sassoon) attempting, according to him and his counsel, to de-escalate the crisis in a responsible manner, to prevent further police brutality and to protect lives. These endeavors, the political activism and his support of the protest movement are, it appears, what led him to prison.

The prosecution and court have joined Yegnukian’s case with 13 other defendants and the court has thus far denied 3 different motions to separate his case. With this bundled prosecution, Mr. Yegnukian’s trial will now be tied up for over many years. A request for bail, even for an unprecedented amount, was also denied without articulated reasons for his detention, pending a lengthy multi-defendant trial.

The ARWC hereby calls upon the US State Department and the US Embassy to fulfill their obligations and intervene more directly, proactively and more intently on behalf of its citizen, whose rights have been imperiled if not compromised, as it has done in other similar past cases*.

We call upon Armenia to respect rights protected by constitutional guarantees, freedom of assembly, peaceful protest and free expression. The right to a speedy trial and the dismissal of illegally-gathered evidence or politically-motivated charges are the hallmarks of a true democracy.

Local and foreign observers should attend and report on all pre-trial proceedings and the trial, and by their presence and subsequent reporting, encourage Armenia and the Armenian judiciary to treat fairly and justly US citizens and indeed all people, according to precepts of national and international law.

The ARWC continues to monitor this case and urges its membership and all freedom-loving and rights-respecting people to remain vigilant, to be engaged and rise in support of the human and civil rights of Garo Yegnukian, Esq.

Armenian Rights Watch Committee—ARWC
ARMENIAN BAR ASSOCIATION

*
a) Afgan Mukhtarli https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2017/06/271551.htm
b) Aya Hijazi https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/21/us/politics/american-aid-worker-released-egypt-trump.html

16 Jun 2017

THE ARMENIAN RIGHTS WATCH COMMITTEE (ARWC) OF THE ARMENIAN BAR ASSOCIATION LAUDS US PROSECUTORS FOR HOLDING ERDOGAN’S THUGS ACCOUNTABLE

In prior weeks, the Armenian Rights Watch Committee repeatedly called on lady justice to rise and reproach the craven animals owned and operated by Turkey’s President Erdogan for their May 16, 2017 bloodthirsty savagery on U.S. soil against law-abiding protesters in Washington D.C.

While we have not been alone in our demands for the responsible parties to be brought to justice (others demanded too), it is gratifying for us—a bar association comprised of lawyers, prosecutors, judges, academicians and law students—to see our call heeded and decisive action finally taken, as prosecutors filed charges yesterday against at least 14 members of Turkish President Erdogan’s security detail.

The accusations against each of those charged stem from their respective roles in last month’s brutal beatings of peaceful demonstrators protesting Erdogan’s policies during his visit to the U.S. capitol. The charges brought against these bestial assailants include felony assault allegations. To date, and pursuant to D.C. Superior Court arrest warrants, two additional individuals have now been apprehended.

We now call upon prosecutors to invoke relevant and codified exceptions to diplomatic immunities and to commence extradition proceedings against the Turkish fugitives. We further urge prosecutors to forego dismissal of any underlying charges through plea negotiations. In the event that any of those responsible for the carnage opt to accept responsibility for their crimes by pleading guilty, we demand that their guilty pleas to be as to all charges levied against them and that such pleas be accompanied with admissions of any aggravating allegations and enhancements.

We are pleased that our voices of discontent were heard—particularly in the face of the White House’s meager lamentations about what was openly witnessed worldwide as a brutal onslaught carried out by the head of a foreign government’s security detail against U.S. citizens. We look forward to and await the day when commensurate justice will be meted out to those who are found culpable in our courts of law, fairly and equitably—much unlike, of course, courtrooms in Turkey.

To be clear, we shall continue to be vigilant to ensure that law and order are, as they surely must be, restored. Turkey’s importing of insidious anarchy and rabid bellicosity is not welcome in this country. When “guests” on American soil violate and blatantly disregard our laws—in vile and violent ways—we must not cede an inch of our most cherished and protected freedoms of speech, association and peaceful assembly.

Let no one doubt our American–Armenian brand of fierce resolve. We vow to remain engaged, and we will vigilantly follow the progress of these arrests and charges to their just conclusion. To be sure, our engagement and monitoring of these developments will be unwavering every step of the way. It will be—as all things we commit to—fierce. And, on this matter, more so than ever before, we will be at our fiercest.

03 Feb 2017

Become an Election Monitor in Armenia

Paying It Forward:  Armenian Bar Association Calls for Volunteers to Join Election Monitoring Team for Upcoming Parliamentary Elections in Armenia
Armenia is both home and away.  Above all else and at our core, we root for it, we engage with it, we champion it, and we go to the wall for it.  For its own part, during the past 25 years, the Republic has pivoted on the axis of our unflagging commitment and our tough-love admonitions.
It is on the hinge of that balance that the Armenian Bar Association invites you to become one of our goodwill ambassadors to Armenia for a short stretch of time in late March/early April, culminating with your mission as a parliamentary election monitor on April 2, 2017.    There are so many reasons to say “yes,” ranging from the professional to the personal to the patriotic.
These types of special opportunities don’t come around too often in life, and we know that it will require you both to juggle and to sacrifice in order to make it all work, but stop and think about it for a second and then don’t hesitate.  Jump to join our monitoring task force and let’s step together into this most meaningful trip to the homeland!
The training (online) and coordination (on the ground) will be conducted by Transparency International/Citizen Observer Initiative which is the leading local organization with a proven track record of observing, auditing and analyzing Armenia’s past and planned elections.
As a monitor during the April 2nd National Assembly elections, you will fulfill a critical role in strengthening the country’s democratic institutions and its rule of law, with the hope of bringing light and honor to future of our nation and people.
To become a part of the Armenian Bar’s monitoring contingent or for more information, please write to  info@armenianbar.com or call Armenian Bar Board Member Armen K. Hovannisian at (818) 645-2811.