Armenia Table of Contents
In April 1991, Armenia signed the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and accepted it as domestic law, superseding all existing laws on the subject. That covenant includes the right to counsel; the presumption of innocence of the accused; the right of privacy; prohibition of arbitrary arrest; freedom of the press, religion, political expression and assembly, and movement; minority rights; and prohibition of discrimination. Since 1991 specific legislation has further guaranteed freedom of the press and prohibited discrimination in education, language, and employment. Rights of the accused, however, remain undefined pending Armenia's acceptance of international conventions on that subject.
In 1993 several human rights organizations were active in Armenia: the Helsinki Assembly, which represented the international Helsinki Watch; the League of Human Rights; parliament's Committee on Human Rights; a national group called Avangard; and a branch of the international Sakharov Fund.
In 1993 the National Self-Determination Union accused the Ter-Petrosian government of a state terrorism policy that included the assassination of individuals within the union and others opposed to government policy. The most publicized incident was the murder in 1993 of Marius Yuzbashian, a former chief of the Armenian branch of the Committee for State Security (Komitet gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti--KGB).
Data as of March 1994