The Member of the RA NA delegation to PACE Edmon Marukyan delivered a speech in PACE Summer Session. The speech is below:
“Ladies and Gentlemen,
Before becoming a parliamentarian, I worked as a human rights advocate for about 12 years in Armenia and that is why the issues related with human rights defenders are very important and close to me.
I would like to thank the Rapporteur Mr Egidijus Vareikis for his valuable work and emphasize some important aspects, as well as I’d like to thank Mr Vareikis for accepting my proposals. In the current situation when democratic values are greatly degraded and are under threat facing a large number of challenges, human rights defenders all over the Europe bravely and with great courage protect human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The Council of Europe should be very strict and uncompromising in this regard, fighting for human rights, the rule of law and democracy, and that struggle should be advocated by human rights defenders which, indeed is currently being carried out. Therefore, human rights defenders are the multipliers in fields of rule of law, human rights and democracy, without whom daily work cannot be successfully moved forward. I am making this statement as a human rights defender currently involved into politics.
I would like to restate the importance of the Council of Europe in protection, inspiration and promotion of human rights defenders through establishing tools, effective mechanism as well as a successful operation of Council of Europe bodies.
I particularly would like to support the recommendation on establishment of a mechanism for regularly reporting on and reacting to cases of intimidation of human rights defenders co-operating with Council of Europe bodies, and especially of lawyers representing applicants before the European Court of Human Rights.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Summarizing my speech, I would like to recall a quote: “Over 2000 years ago, a Chinese General Sun-Tzu said, “Kill one, terrify a thousand” as one of his principles of warfare. Since then, this approach has been taken up by governments across the world on all matters, but especially to silence and intimidate critics, independent voices, and dissent. At the Sixth Dublin Platform for Human Rights Defenders, this theme has been turned to ‘Protect one, Empower a thousand.’
So, therefore, I call everybody here, to protect one, as human rights defenders, empower a thousand and human rights will thrive in the world.”