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Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders, Addendum: Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received, A/HRC/10/12/Add.1, 4 March 2009: Armenia

115. On 29 May 2008, the Special Rapporteur sent a letter of allegation to the government concerning Mr Mikael Danielian, chairman of the Helsinki Association – Armenia, a human rights organization based in Yerevan.

116. According to the information received, on the afternoon of 21 May 2008, Mr Mikael Danielian was a passenger in a taxi in Terian St. in Yerevan when he was approached by a man, who had got out of a nearby vehicle. The suspect’s name is known to the Special Rapporteur. The man allegedly punched Mr Danielian through the open car window at which point Mr Danielian got out of the taxi. The man reportedly continued to harass him, calling him a CIA agent who defended the interests of gay people and a ‘shame to Armenia’.

117. Reports indicated that the man then shot Mr Danielian with a pneumatic weapon. The latter was not seriously injured but sustained some injuries to his chest and neck and was treated for a sharp rise in blood pressure by an ambulance at the scene. Mr Danielian was taken to the police department of Kentron district police station, where  an  investigator ordered that he undergo a medical forensic examination on May 22. Witnesses reported that the man who shot Mr Danielian was also taken to a police station, although it was not known if any charges have been brought against him.

118. Concern was expressed that the shooting of Mr Danielian may be directly related to his work in defense of human rights, particularly in the aftermath of recent political turmoil in Armenia. Following these reports, serious concern was expressed for Mr Danielian’s physical and psychological integrity. The mandate-holder also requested that the Government refer to her predecessor’s urgent appeal of 3 April 2008 to which she looked forward to a response.


119. The Special Rapporteur regrets that at the time of the finalization of this report, the Government had not transmitted a reply to her communications of 3 April 2008 and 29 May 2008. She considers response to her communications as an important part of the cooperation of Governments with  her mandate, and  urges the Government  to respond  to  the concerns raised by her.

120. The Special Rapporteur reminds the Government of the relevant provisions of the Declaration on human rights defenders, especially article 5 paragraph (a) which establishes that for the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels, to meet or assemble peacefully.

121. The Special Rapporteur reiterates her concern regarding Mr Danielian’s physical and psychological integrity, and urges the government to transmit to her all relevant information regarding any investigation or prosecution into the case.

Link to full text of the report: Summary of cases-SR Human Rights Defenders-2009-eng