French Group Demands Armenia Abolish Anti-Gay Penal Code
February 26, 2002
Paris-based non-profit organisation AGLA (Association of Gay and Lesbian
Armenians of France) has sent a letter to the Council of Europe demanding a
change to gay rights in the country.
The letter was addressed to Hovhannes Hovhannisyan, the head of the
Armenian delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, by
him to abolish the anti-gay article in the penal code of Armenia.
When Armenia’s application to the Council of Europe was being discussed,
leaders of political parties in the Parliament agreed to amend the article 116
of the penal code banning homosexuality.
Whilst Armenia has celebrated the first anniversary of its membership to
the Council of Europe, parliamentary debates highlighted in the media show
that it is not keen to protect the rights of homosexuals and that the penal
code on persecuting homosexuality has not been changed.
In its news dispatch of November 15, 2001, the Arminfo news agency
announced that in the year 2001 there were seven assassinations of homosexuals
in Armenia. It is unclear how many of these killings were down to homophobia.
The AGLA is therefore urging the Armenian authorities and lawmakers to
respect the guidelines of the Council of Europe and change the
"clandestine" situation of gays and lesbians in Armenia.
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