I would like you to make a clear assessment, especially of the thoughts of those representatives of the authorities who think that there are roads and territories in our country that do not belong to Armenia, they belong to Azerbaijan. Anna Grigoryan, an MP of the opposition "Armenia" Faction in the National Assembly (NA), stated this at Monday’s NA session, and addressing the new Human Rights Defender (ombudsperson) candidate, Kristine Grigoryan—the now former Deputy Minister of Justice of Armenia.
Also, the opposition lawmaker asked the ombudsperson candidate whether there were any political prisoners in Armenia.
In response to the first query, Grigoryan first noted that the ombudsman's office had done important work in terms of security. "The security zone should not be fetishized; security should not be cut off or separated from people. It's about people's safety," she added, in particular.
As for the planned delimitation and demarcation of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, the ombudsperson candidate noted: "It is a very complicated process, also with a political component, but human rights issues are placed at the core there. And when we look at the OSCE practice [in this regard], it is very clear that the issues of ensuring the normal life of the population are viewed equally as the solutions to political issues. (…) my approach is that any process that takes place in our country, the human rights defender should be there. And I, if elected, will be in that process, I will use my relations; also, I will build relations, both with the opposition, the authorities, public administration and local self-government bodies to address these issues. I am also far from the temptation that the human rights defender's only tool is statements.”
As for the matter of political prisoners, Kristine Grigoryan noted that the PACE Monitoring Committee monitors Armenia and the other member countries and has recorded that there are no political prisoners in Armenia. "I agree with this record," the candidate for Armenia’s ombudsperson added.