Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

US Department of State addresses Sashik Sultanyan’s case in its annual Report on International Religious Freedom

June 8, 2022

Publications | News

In the US Department of State Report on International Religious Freedom, which was published on June 3, the US Department of State also made observations regarding religious freedom in Armenia. 

In the section related to Armenia, the Department of State also addresses criminal prosecution against human rights activist Sashik Sultanyan. Sashik Sultanyan was charged under point 1 of part 2 of Article 226 of the RA Criminal Code (incitement of national, racial or religious hatred), whereby voicing violations of the rights of Yezidis residing in Armenia was qualified as incitement of national hatred.

The report notes that Sultanyan’s prosecution drew strong criticism from the international community.

It is noteworthy that unlawful criminal prosecution against Sashik Sultanyan has been denounced by Armenian human rights structures and civil society representatives, as well as international reputable human rights organizations. The RA Human Rights Defender also expressed concern over the prosecution. Moreover, the CoE Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović addressed the RA Prosecutor General to get clarifications regarding the case.

The next court hearing is scheduled for 14:30 on 20 June 2022. The court is examining the evidence.

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