Issue on Ratifying Protocol No 13 on Abolition of the Death Penalty in All Cases debated: Abolition of the Death Penalty continues remaining one of the RA important international commitments
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Basically, the death penalty is abolished by the Protocol, and nobody can be condemned and put to death penalty, and any reservation of Protocol provisions is not permissible in terms of Article 57 of the Convention. The ratification is harmonious with the position of the state to consider the death penalty in Armenia as a supporter of complete abolition, moreover the death penalty is already banned with constitutional norms and its restrictions. On September 11, the RA Deputy Minister of Justice Karen Karapetyan said at the NA sitting during the debate of the draft law on Ratifying the Protocol No 13 on Abolition of the Death Penalty in All Circumstances to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

It was noted that the ratification of the Protocol is harmonious with the context of the international obligations already assumed by the Republic of Armenia.

It enters into force by ten member states of the Council of Europe, pursuant to the provisions of Article 4, after the day of expressing consent on obligated by the Protocol, on the first day pf the month following the three-month term.

It was signed on May 19, 2006 by the Republic of Armenia, however it has not been ratified until now.

The Deputy Minister underlined that the Protocol is one of the international unique documents, regarding which during the meeting of the Committee of Ministers, once a year, in the framework of the universal campaign of the death penalty inquiry in written form is carried out among the CoE member states that have not signed and ratified for clarifying the reasons. In similar cases, the Armenian delegation is obliged to present substantiations on not signing or not ratifying the circumstances. The signing and ratifying of the Protocol is regularly set also on PACE agenda. The CoE Secretary General, the Deputy Secretaries General, other CoE officials many times touched upon the ratification of the Protocol at the meetings with the high ranking officials of the Republic of Armenia and asked the participants to pay necessary attention to this issue.

In 2003, Armenia ratified the Protocol No 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and in this context, according to Karen Karapetyan, the Protocol No 13 is considered its logical continuity and expresses the determination of the member states of the Council of Europe to undertake a final step aimed at the abolition of the death penalty. Besides, from June 18, 2001 the Second Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty entered into force for the Republic of Armenia, which Armenia joined without reservations.

According to the Deputy Minister, the ratification of the Protocol by Armenia will be assessed by the CoE as the most important positive step, serious progress in terms of strengthening the protection of human rights in the country, the rating of Armenia will be reinforced as a CoE member state honouring its obligations.

The deputy of the Armenia Faction Agnesa Khamoyan inquired if the ratification of the Protocol is conditioned by any additional circumstance for the Republic of Armenia.

In response, Karen Karapetyan mentioned that the ratification of the Protocol will not cause additional obligations.

In his co-report, the Chair of the NA Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs Vladimir Vardanyan noted that the European developments are on the basis of the international document after the formation of the Council of Europe until nowadays, which in essence, records a general approach as a decline of the death penalty - kind of punishment. According to the co-rapporteur, the approach of declining the death penalty has passed the path phase by phase. As he assured, at the beginning of the 21st century great part of the European states abolished the death penalty in conditions of peace.

It was noted that death penalty has never been in the history of independent Armenia. According to Vladimir Vardanyan, during all constitutional debates the death penalty was observed as a unique means of punishment, which should be abolished.

As the so-rapporteur assured, the only concern is that our country will not become the CoE last state that ratified this document.

He called on his colleagues to ratify the international document.

During the exchange of ideas, within the framework of the Protocol Reification, the Secretary of the Armenia Faction Artsvik Minasyan highlighted the condemnation of the crimes committed aimed against humankind perpetrated by the Azerbaijani regime. “We should state to the whole world how the Azerbaijani brutal regime shoots the people in Hadrut Square, the captives in different places,” he said. According to the MP, all this should become a real opportunity for making Aliyev and those who committed those crimes accountable.