Pink’s roundtable discussion took place within the framework of Pride Month


On June 16, Pink’s roundtable discussion entitled “Effectiveness of legal protection mechanisms for LGBT people” took place. At the event, “The human rights situation of LGBT people in Armenia during 2022” annual report published by Pink was presented. The report summarizes the 2022 human rights violations combined with discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity recorded by the organization. 

Representatives of civil society and LGBT people and representatives of international structures, embassies and state bodies, including the RA Ministries of Justice and Internal Affairs, the Ombudsperson’s Office, etc., participated in the discussion.  

Karine Aghajanyan, the chairperson of Pink human rights defender NGO, made an opening speech, thanking all the guests for their presence and support and for not being indifferent to human rights violations, noting that with combined efforts, it is possible to make reforms in the lives of LGBT people, which she places great importance on. 

Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Sweden in Armenia Klas Waldenström and European Union Ambassador Andrea Victorin also made a greeting speech. They especially mentioned the importance of having an inclusive society in every country, including Armenia, inclusive for LGBT people, people with disabilities, religious minorities and other vulnerable groups. They also expressed their support for civil society, as civil society is currently making great efforts to protect human rights and establish full democracy in the country. The European Union Ambassador emphasized the need for fundamental changes in law enforcement practice, including steps to end violence by the police. 

During the discussion, the human rights violations combined with discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity recorded in 2022, the new legislative regulations, and the effectiveness of their application were presented. Reference was also made to the execution of the first judgment by the European Court of Human Rights against Armenia in the case of Oganezova v. Armenia regarding the violation of the rights of LGBT people, during which the lawyer of the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC) made a speech. The measures taken by the state and the willingness to contribute to implementing legal protection mechanisms soon were highlighted.  

Pink’s lawyers, Hasmik Petrosyan and Luiza Vardanyan, made a particular reference to the case of suicide of a same-sex couple in October 2022. They noted that the young men’s right to life was violated because of being subjected to domestic violence and fear of pressure from society, and the couple eventually committed suicide. The fact that a massive wave of hate speech was spread on social media platforms after the suicide incident was also mentioned indicates that society continues to call for violence; meanwhile, law enforcement agencies refused to investigate the case properly after receiving a report about the case from Pink, as well as rejected to provide the organization with any information referring the case. 

Pink’s lawyers then represented the cases of violence combined with discrimination based on the SOGI, which specifically happened on the street or in other public places against trans people. Cases of domestic violence against LGBT people in 2022 were also mentioned, as well as the apparent differential treatment and discrimination against LGBT people in schools and other educational institutions, because of which cases of violence based on the SOGI are also recorded in educational institutions of Armenia. Unfortunately, the law-enforcement bodies do not adequately investigate the mentioned cases, and ultimately the perpetrators remain unpunished.  

The discussion was concluded with the proposals of the Pink human rights defender NGO, addressed to state bodies, mass media, and the Ombudsperson, which are also reflected in the recommendations of international human rights protection bodies.