Bribery Payoff Averted as Passport Denial is Overturned

What a fortunate coincidence for Mr. Gevorgyan upon learning of the new Advocacy and Assistance Center in his hometown of Gyumri during a televised public service announcement. At the time, this Armenian citizen in his forties was confronting problems with his local police department, which declined to issue him a passport on the grounds he lacked a registered address. However, it is common knowledge in Armenia that based on the country’s Conscription Law, only men under the age of 27 (the age limit for military eligibility) are required to have registered addresses.
Rather than resolving the matter by paying a bribe to the head of the passport department, which Mr. Gevorgyan believes is what was expected of him, he took his case to his local AAC. This center, along with ten others located throughout the country, serves as a citizen complaint office run by local NGOs, where victims of corruption can walk-in or call-in to receive free legal advice and assistance. The legal staff at the AAC immediately sent a letter to the local passport office requesting a legal explanation as to their refusal to issue Mr. Gevorgyan a new passport. In the letter, the center cited the legislation exempting him of needing to maintain a registered address. It was not long before they responded by issuing a new passport to Mr. Gevorgyan and by informing the AAC that the matter had been resolved in his favor.
“I appreciated the support and I thank the AAC lawyers for helping me obtain a new passport,” expressed Mr. Gevorgyan. “I hope other residents of Gyumri will also come to the AACs for help with similar issues.”

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