STEPANAKERT (Noyan Tapan)–Antoine Arakelian -vice-president of the Russian National Associations Congress–a member of the Expert Council under the Commissioner on Human Rights in the Russian Federation–a human rights activist and public figure–who is on a short working visit to Karabakh gave a press conference in Stepanakert Monday.
Arakelian arrived in Armenia–then visited Karabakh after the Nalchik Seminar dedicated to the problems of founding the institution of regional Commissioner on Human Rights. The Seminar was organized from June 29 to July 2 by St. Petersburg’s "Strategy" Center on Humanitarian and Political Studies jointly with the CE Department on Human Rights.
The issues of social and economic development–as well as protection of civil rights and–in particular–free speech–were discussed during the press conference. Arakelian noted that the restrictions of freedom of speech in war-time conditions were a natural thing–however–a clear line of imposing those restrictions–with regard to the General Declaration of Human Rights–as well as mechanisms of control by the public and human rights protecting organizations had to be defined.
The problems of searching and exchanging prisoners of war and hostages came up as a separate subject for discussion. Arakelian called for close cooperation among all the regional human rights organizations in this matter. He promised his assistance in this issue–underlining that establishing the institution of Commissioner on Human Rights in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh would make it possible to solve such problems in a more efficient manner.