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Human rights defenders: UN expert launches fact-finding mission to Armenia

GENEVA (10 June 2010) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, will undertake her first fact-finding mission to Armenia from 14-18 June 2010, in what will also be the first visit to the country by a UN Human Rights envoy since 2000.

“The recent review of Armenia’s human rights record in the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council,” the independent expert said, “provides a good opportunity to discuss the recommendations pertinent to the human rights defenders mandate and to assess the mechanisms the Government has already and intends to put in place in the future in order to implement them.”
“The aim of the mission is to evaluate in person, in an objective and impartial manner, the situation of human rights defenders in the country, and to initiate a process of constructive cooperation with the authorities,” added Mrs. Sekaggya, who will visit Armenia at the invitation of the Government.

In order to gather first-hand information, the Special Rapporteur will meet with State officials, representatives of the legislative and judicial branches, a broad segment of civil society and the press, representatives of UN agencies and regional human rights organizations, and the diplomatic corps.

A press conference will be held in Yerevan at the conclusion of the Special Rapporteur’s visit on 18 June 2010 at 4:30 pm, in the UN Conference Hall (UNDP Armenia, Petros Adamyan St., h. 14, Yerevan, 0010, Armenia).

A final report on the visit will be presented to the Human Rights Council in 2011.

Margaret Sekaggya, a lawyer from Uganda, was appointed Special Rapporteur in March 2008 by the UN Human Rights Council. She is independent from any Government and serves in her individual capacity.

OHCHR Country Page – Armenia: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/AMIndex.aspx