Statement of 21 May 2019 on the recent blockage of courts in Armenia


on the recent blockage of courts in Armenia
Brussels, 21 May 2019 -
"On 18 May, a court in Yerevan ruled that Armenia's former President Robert Kocharyan be released from prison pending the outcome of his trial.

Without prejudice to the principle of non-interference, we would like to express our concern regarding the Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's call on his supporters to block the entrances to all courts nationwide on 20 May, and for a mandatory, popular 'vetting' to be applied on all judges.

We fully acknowledge that the politicisation of judges is a matter of paramount importance in Armenia, and we count on the competent authorities, with the assistance of their international partners, to adopt and implement the structural reforms that are needed to ensure that a transparent and efficient judiciary, free from undue influences, will regain citizens' trust, as it is a prerequisite for the rule of law.

Meanwhile, we urge all public office holders to show wisdom and restraint, as was the case throughout last year's 'velvet revolution', act solely within the limits of the mandates vested upon them by the Constitution, and uphold the clear, indispensable division between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of power."