Artur Sakunts, Chairman of Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor, was one of the participants in the American ″Freedom House″ human rights NGO discussion on ″The Current Narratives About The Correlation of Democracy, Human Rights and Security in Post-War Armenia: True or False″.
During the discussion, Artur Sakunts underscored that the security of Armenia has never been based on democratic values and principles. Generally, after the first Artsakh war, we have tried to solve security challenges in the post-Soviet environment with Soviet tools.
According to A. Sakunts, after 2018 revolution, for the first time, citizens of Armenia demanded a democratic state governed by the rule of law, whereas, the Government was inept to correctly use that exceptional trust.
What is surprising: if before 2018, civil society was targeted by the authoritarian government as a force suppressing systemic corruption, human rights violations and impunity, after the revolution, the label of being ″people of Soros″ was formed by groups that were previously talking about human rights, in the conditions of the Government’s complete silence. The Government was generally so afraid of being labeled as the people of Soros, that they sacrificed the establishment of democracy. Even during the events of November 9, we see that people attacked the OSF office, considering it the reason for the unleashing of the war and the defeat. ″If the authorities were the people of Soros, such adventurism wouldn’t have taken place″, A. Sakunts concludes.
He also mentioned that the international community’s indifference in terms of such issues makes the establishment of democracy even more difficult, as society sees that attitude and gets offended, rejecting the international values. The international community should manifest daily and principled stance regarding the states, where human rights are continuously violated. The impunity of the RF, Turkey and Azerbaijan is a threat not only to their citizens, but also to neighbouring countries and generally, to the whole civilized world.
On the other hand, the inconsistency of Armenia’s authorities created a difficult situation: peacekeepers of Putin regime deal with the issue of persons captured as a result of the war; Armenia has ratified EU partnership agreement, but continues membership to CSTO club of totalitarian regimes. As a state, we have not had a security strategy, and for that reason, we have appeared in the situation that we are in now.
The only way out of the situation is the restoration of public communication and elimination of vacuum.