The Ministry of Justice Demonstrates a Discriminatory Approach towards NGOs: Marat Atovmyan

Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Justice Suren Krmoyan gave an interview to “Pastinfo” website, referring to the announcements of CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition and Armenia Young Lawyers Association.
Suren Krmoyan said that CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition had suggested involving the social sphere in the fight, and the ministry asked to present a research, but according to the deputy minister no research was sent to the Ministry of Justice.
We had interview with Marat Atovmyan, lawyer and administration member of AYLA. He opposes: On 9 June 2015 with the note 01/44 we officially represented our reference on social sphere to the minister of Justice Hovhannes Manukyan, where we gave situational descriptions and suggested involving the social sphere as the 5th target sector.”
On 28 July the Anti-Corruption Council during its first session involved two issues of secondary nature; Marat Atovmyan referred to those issues also: “Those were about information freedom and the creation of civil councils adjacent the Minister; we have not expressed opinions about the rest 8 issues, moreover, we have never said that those 2 are not important at all; we said that those 2 issues play a secondary role for the first session, because we believe there are much more primary issues for the agenda. The issue of the creation of professional working group was previously discussed with the Minister, and was meant to be included in the agenda, but it has not happened; isn’t this issue important?”
The thing is that Anti-Corruption Coalition of CSOs together with the EX-Minister of Justice Hovhannes Manukyan agreed to create a professional working group within the Anti-Corruption Coalition that will discuss the issues of institutional model and illegal enrichment. In his interview Suren Krmoyan said that the suggestion about the working group was accepted, but the Coalition insists on the opposite. Marat Atovmyan claimed: “We do not deny that those 2 points were included, we have always said and suggested that during the first session of Anti-Corruption Council a professional working group would be created, which would serve as the first step on the way of carrying out those two points. This is an urgent issue and it is not clear for us why it was not included in the agenda of the first session of the Council.”
Mr. Atovmyan said that they have some information that 10 days before the first session there were discussion with some NGOs, about the formation of the agenda: “Here comes a question- Why such a working discussion was not planned with all representatives of the sphere?”- taking into account this and other circumstances Mr. Atovmyan claimed that The Ministry of Justice demonstrates a discriminatory approach towards NGOs, and the Prime Minister as the president of Anti-Corruption Council is not aware of this.”
That concerns the cooperation, Marat Atovmyan said that the organization has always tried to take part in the events organized by the Ministry of Justice, and instead, a representative of the ministry was present only at 9 seminars and trainings among several dozens carried out in Yerevan and other marzes within the frames of “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” project.
The Deputy Minster also mentioned that the Coalition and AYLA had boycotted the session. Marat Atovmyan said: “Neither the Coalition nor AYLA had boycotted the session; we simply did not participate, as long as we had received the official invitation a day before the session, in case when we had already planned important agenda.”
By the way, the executive director of Transparency International Anti-Corruption Centre NGO also had received the official invitation a day before the session.
It turns out that 10 agenda issues and documents consisted of more than 100 pages were sent to NGOs to be studied for participating the session just 1 day before the meeting.
Marat Atovmyan reminded that AYLA has been carrying out anti-corruption projects since 2008, and during this period governments and officials changed, but the organization has carried out its duties properly and will continue to work with its partners of CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition.