The most significant human rights problems were systemic corruption and lack of transparency in government, US State Department Report on Human Rights Practices reads, as reported by Armenian News – NEWS.am correspondent in Washington.
“The most significant human rights problems during the year were systemic corruption and lack of transparency in government, the limited independence of the judiciary, and limitations on the ability of citizens to change their government.”
According to the US State Department, allegations of persistent corruption at all levels of government undermined the rule of law, although the government took limited steps to punish corruption by low- and mid-level officials.
“Lack of transparency in government impeded the public’s ability to hold officials accountable for their actions. The executive branch continued to subject the courts to political pressure, resulting in some politically motivated prosecutions and sentencing, and the Court of Cassation exercised considerable control over judges’ decisions at all levels,” the authors of the report write.
Among other reported abuses they note suspicious deaths in the military under noncombat conditions and continued hazing and other mistreatment of conscripts by officers and fellow soldiers for which perpetrators were not held accountable.
“Police allegedly continued to employ torture to obtain confessions and reportedly beat citizens during arrest and interrogation. Many prisons were overcrowded, unsanitary, and lacking in medical services for inmates. Authorities continued to arrest and detain criminal suspects without reasonable suspicion and to detain individuals arbitrarily.”
According to the US State Department, traditional media lacked diversity of political opinion and objectivity of reporting. The report also mentions several incidents of violence toward journalists in connection with citizens’ protests throughout the year.
“A significant imbalance in the ratio of boys to girls at birth pointed to gender-biased sex selection. Persons with disabilities experienced discrimination in almost all areas of life,” the report reads.
Armenia News – NEWS.am