Protesters attempt to disrupt forum against discrimination and xenophobia in Yerevan
YEREVAN, October 21. /ARKA/. Representatives of Armenian non-governmental organizations have tried to disrupt the forum entitled “Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Intolerance in Europe” that started in Yerevan on October 21.
Several dozens of activists were holding protests near the Armenia-Marriott hotel, then broke the security and entered, holding banners, the conference hall where the forum started, Novosti-Armenia reported.
The main speakers of the event, Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian and Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland made their speeches in the presence of the protesters.
The forum was attended also by a member of PACE’s Committee on Equality and Non-discrimination Johan Gunnarsson, ambassadors and high-ranking officials, reps of international organizations and the civil society.
Chairman of Helsinki association human rights activist Michael Danielyan said the European authorities have no right to arrange such forums in a country like Armenia.
It is more than cynical to hold such events in a country where the authorities demonstrate no sign of tolerance, the activist said.
The event was held in the framework of Armenia’s chairmanship of the CE Committee of Ministers and was to discuss racism and xenophobia, as well as the role of human rights protecting institutions in combating racism and ethnical discrimination.
Armenia assumed chairmanship of the CE Committee of Ministers on May 16 2013. –0--