Last edited: November 06, 2004

Armenia Removes the Anti-Gay Law from Country’s Criminal Code, January 7, 2003 Press Release

Paris—On 25th of December, 2002 the Armenian National Assembly has adopted the new criminal code, in its second reading, from which the anti-gay article was removed. As soon as AGLA France has learned the news it has immediately contacted the representation of Armenia to the Council of Europe and the HETQ association (Association of Investigative Journalists of Armenia) in order to seek a confirmation. The both sources assured us the veracity of information: article 116 of the criminal code is well abolished.

The article 116 condemned "for the homosexual relations between the men up to 5 years of prison". There were 7 persons sentenced in 1996, 4 in 1997 and 4 in 1999. The article is no more applied in Armenia since 1999.

In 2000 ILGA-Europe (an international NGO) lobbied in the Council of Europe requiring the abolition of the article to be included in the list of pre-conditions to Armenia’s adhesion in this reputed European organization. AGLA France is pleased with this encouraging news and thanks the international GLBT community, in particular ILGA-Europe and the French Inter- LGBT association, which did carry out the combat in favour of the abolition of this article. Until now the anti-gay law did not allow the creation of non-governmental structures to defend the rights of homosexual minorities and to prevent the spread of AIDS among the gays in this country. AGLA France hopes that after the abandonment of this repressive law the situation of the Armenian gays will improve in the society which still remains extremely conservative and homophobic.

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