Freedom house international human rights organization warns Millenium Challenge corporation about Armenia's default in its obligations

Armenia Materials 4 November 2006 13:49 (UTC +04:00)

(ArmInfo) -The Freedom House International Human Rights Organization has warned in a report the Millennium Challenge Corporation about Armenia's default in its obligations to the corporation, reports Trend.

On November 8, the Millennium Challenge Corporation's Board of Directors will again consider the list of the countries which are supposed to receive material assistance. However, the Freedom House recommended the Corporation to exclude the countries which have serious problems with democracy and protection of the basic freedoms of their citizens. There are 7 countries of that type, and Armenia ranks first on the list. Then come Bhutan, Egypt, Jordan, the Maldives, Tunisia and Vietnam.

The Millennium Challenge Program started in September, 2006. According to the project, within the next 5 years, the USA is supposed to grant $235 mln to Armenia, mainly for developing rural regions of the republic. The Freedom House advises the Corporation to attentively follow such countries as Armenia which were included in the list of countries to get assistance, but make default in their obligations. Armenia failed to create an atmosphere of tolerance of the opposition; despite the advice of the Corporation's chief executive representative, it didn't investigate the violations disclosed in the course of the national referendum on constitutional amendments in 2005, and the process of carrying out the amendments adopted at the referendum stopped in 2006. According to the Armenian opposition, the parliamentary elections in 2007 will be also accompanied by violations. For maintaining the present authorities, numerous antidemocratic methods are applied, the judicial power remains under political pressure of the executive one; notwithstanding the new legislation in the sphere of information, the atmosphere of this field has not improved and journalists are still being attacked, the report says.

According to the document, the Millennium Challenge Corporation should give preference to the countries which have gathered more than 4 points on the Freedom House's 7-point scale. Armenia has less than 4 points, the report says.