Thursday, January 20, 2011

DollarArmen is now EuroArmen! But Where are the Euros??

Haykakan Zhamanak published an article a day or so ago about the 1 million Euro grant that Armenia's Ombudsman's office received... luckily Epress did a great summary and translation of the article, here it is [the emphasis is mine]:

In 2009, the Office of the Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia received a grant of 1 million euros for the protection of human and citizens’ rights, reports local Armenian daily Haykakan Jamanak (“Armenian Times”).

In response to a question by a Haykakan Jamanak correspondent as to how that money was spent, RA Human Rights Defender Armen Harutyuyan’s press spokesperson Dzovinar Khachatryan yesterday conveyed her boss’ response:
“The Office of the Human Rights Defender received a grant of this amount neither in 2009 nor in 2010.”

The local daily writes that it had at its disposal a report titled “Eastern Promises: Supporting Civil Society in the Eastern Partnership Countries” published in 2010 by the EU–sponsored The Institute of Public Affairs, where it clearly shows that in 2009, the European Union granted Armenia’s Human Rights Defender Office 1 million euros, and that these funds were earmarked “for the protection of human and citizens’ rights” (see chart detail below).

Haykakan Jamanak reports that Harutyunyan outright lied, saying that his office received no such funds.

“And this isn’t simply a lie, but a deceitful lie, because a new question would arise from an opposite response, what specific programs have been carried out in Armenia ‘for the protection of human and citizens’ rights,’ and how many euros were spent on which program. And generally a question would arise, that due to the one million euros provided by the EU, by how many degrees has the level of ‘protection’ of RA citizens’ ‘rights’ increased.

“But since Armen Harutyunyan denies receiving that money, it remains only to respond that an ombudsman such as Armen Harutyunyan is very suitable for a country such as Armenia. A country where there are political prisoners for three years already, where violated are such basic human rights as the right to freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, the right to movement, the right to a fair trial, and we’re not even talking about torture leading to the deaths of those in police custody. And there’s an ombudsman who for five years already suppresses the noted issues and, basically, receives millions from the Europes [of the world] for that,” writes Haykakan Jamanak.

Note the document published by Haykakan Jamanak in its issue today is available online on page 23 of the 28-page PDF available for download at:

And it's true. The document is real, the link works. So is the fact that Armen Harutyunyan (now EuroArmen) is leaving Armenia, for a job with the UN Commissioner for Human Rights in Central Asia.

Here's a snapshot of the document:

But where are those 1 million Euros?

By the way, nice suit.

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