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EU Concerned Over Armenian Attacks


Armenia - The head of the EU Delegation in Armenia, Traian Hristea, gives a press conference in Yerevan, 16Dec2014.

Armenia - The head of the EU Delegation in Armenia, Traian Hristea, gives a press conference in Yerevan, 16Dec2014.

The European Union expressed concern on Tuesday at a series of violent attacks on Armenian opposition politicians and activists, saying that failure to punish their perpetrators could deepen “a sense of impunity” in Armenia.

In a statement, the EU Delegation in Yerevan urged the Armenian authorities to identify and prosecute the attackers “without delay.”

“The EU Delegation reiterates its concern at the absence of results regarding the investigations into similar incidents of 2013,” it said. “The perception of ineffective law enforcement is raising concerns among Armenian civil society, Human Rights Defenders and international observers and risks nurturing a sense of impunity in Armenia.”

The five oppositionists who were beaten up in separate incidents actively participated in recent anti-government demonstrations organized by the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), Prosperous Armenia and Zharangutyun parties. Two of them are senior members of the HAK. The latter has accused the Armenian authorities of orchestrating the violence for political purposes.

The authorities deny any involvement. They say they have already identified individuals responsible for two of those incidents.

HAK leaders discussed the incidents with the Yerevan-based ambassadors of France, Germany, Britain as well as the United States late last week. They also met with two officials from the EU Delegation for the same purpose on Monday.

The head of the delegation, Traian Hristea, on Tuesday reaffirmed the EU’s readiness to deepen relations with Armenia in a way that will not contradict the South Caucasus country’s upcoming membership in a Russian-led alliance. He said Brussels and Yerevan will continue to negotiate on a “new legal basis” for those relations.

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