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YEREVAN. – I immediately made a statement after the prime minister’s call to block the courts. The Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) of Armenia, Arman Tatoyan, on Monday told this to reporters in parliament, and added that he is familiar with the report of the recent Venice Commission session.

“I believe my reaction was right and appropriate,” he added. “My reaction referred specifically to those officials who were calling to go and block the entrances of the courts; this is impermissible. Each and every person holding a public office has a specific status that must be maintained.”

Furthermore, Tatoyan underscored the maintenance of the independence of courts, and noted that the Venice Commission has also reflected on the Armenian parliament.

In the Armenian Ombudsman’s words, any representative of the ruling parliamentary faction must take into account that any statement made by him relating to these matters can be viewed by the international organization as a concealed stance of the government.

As per Tatoyan, even though the Venice Commission speaks of abandoning total vetting, the Armenian government is the addressee of this matter.

“Whatever happens, we should consider any matter in accordance with the current constitution and laws,” Arman Tatoyan added. “And we don’t have the right to allow an action that may violate the constitution, or the law, because it may have a negative impact on the country’s international conduct—also in the case of judicial power.”

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