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Crisis and Difficult: Ombudsman Arman Tatoyan Recaps 6-Year Tenure

Crisis and difficult: this is how Human Rights Defender of Armenia Arman Tatoyan described his 6-year tenure.

Tatoyan gave a final news conference in his capacity as Ombudsman as his term in office is ending.

He said his term in office since day 1 was a difficult time period.

"Since day 1 we worked in difficult and crisis situations. During this period of time I was guided by important principles: remain faithful to the oath of office, do everything and do as much as necessary. The April War started after I took office. I was in Artsakh already on April 3. Then, ceasefire violations happened in Tavush and elsewhere. We’ve conducted fact-finding missions everywhere where it was needed," Tatoyan said.

The year of 2016, when Tatoyan took office, was difficult. The Yerevan hostage crisis happened, when gunmen ambushed a police station. Tatoyan said the following year was also difficult because it related to the protection of rights and detention conditions of the arrested and jailed persons in the case of the police station ambush.

"Then, the events of April-May 2018 began," Tatoyan said, referring to the Velvet Revolution. "We worked day and night. With our task forces, we frequently stayed overnight in police departments and jails to properly conduct our duties," he said.

In July 2020, Azerbaijan attacked the province of Tavush, bombarding peaceful settlements. Tatoyan was carrying out fact-finding missions and maintained contact with international organizations.

The COVID-19 pandemic period was also tense for the Ombudsman. Tatoyan said they’ve been working in several directions: raising awareness, isolations, and supervision of governmental bodies.

The disastrous war which Azerbaijan launched in September of 2020 led to numerous victims and many were left with disabilities. Villages and towns were destroyed. Tatoyan said the Azerbaijani violations did not stop and continued in the direction of border towns.

"I have a feeling during this entire time as if we are still at war. We’ve had a significant increase of applications and complaints during our entire work. If there were 5214 written and verbal applications in the year of 2015, in 2020 there were 14,780, and 21,118 in 2021," Arman Tatoyan said.

Tatoyan said the Ombudsman’s hotline also recorded rise in calls. In 2015 there were 2086 calls, in 2020 there were 11,735 and in 2021: 14,124:

 


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