On February 2 in Yerevan presentation of “Monitoring of Democratic Reforms” report was held. The report was developed under homonymous project of Yerevan Press Club, with the support of Open Society Institute Human Rights and Governance Grant Program. A number of NGOs – members of “Partnership for Open Society” initiative participated in preparation of the report.
The research was started by YPC in October 2004, in order to reveal the degree of compliance by Armenia with the commitments on human rights and democracy following accession to the Council of Europe. The subject of monitoring became not only the commitments as such but also the requirements of PACE resolutions on the compliance process, which were adopted later. The interim report on this study was publicized in May last year and contained an analysis of the democratization process in Armenia as of March 1, 2005 (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, May 13-19, 2005).
The monitoring presented to the public covers the situation from the period of full membership of Armenia in CoE (January 25, 2001) up to December 15 – after enforcement of amended RA Constitution, the draft of which was put to referendum on November 27, 2005. The research has the following sections: constitutional amendments; electoral legislation and practice; judicial reform; demonstrations, meetings and free movement of persons; torture and ill-treatment; RA Human Rights Defender institution; freedom of conscience and religious organizations; national and ethnic minorities rights; alternative service; legislation on personal data protection; freedom of expression and information. At the presentation, the experts responsible introduced each of the mentioned sections.
“Freedom of Expression and Information” chapter analyses media legislation and its practice. The report also presents the findings of two media studies, administered by Yerevan Press Club: monitoring of Armenian media coverage of the Referendum on draft amendments to the RA Constitution (covers the period of November 5-25, 2005) and monitoring of Armenian TV channels (February 1-28, 2005).
See details of the mentioned monitorings at YPC website www.ypc.am in “Studies” directory. The “Monitoring of Democratic Reforms in Armenia” report will soon be there in three languages (Armenian, English and Russian).