An Armenian success story

Ofelya Zalyan is a part of a dedicated team which is achieving big results with small resources in Armenia. She works for The Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor (HCAV) in Armenia.

Ofelya Zalyan’s office is a bumpy drive from Yerevan over the mountains.

“We empower citizens to claim their rights,” she says.

Their results from the last three years speaks for themselves: Legal advice has been provided to over 90 people, they have defended 34 citizens in Armenian courts, obtsined criminal proceedings in 13 cases of police torture and filed seven complaints with the European Court of Human Rights.

“Our long-term co-operation with the NHC is invaluable,” Zalyan says.

Ofelya Zalyan strekker seg til neste generasjon menneskerettighetsforsvarere. Foto: Vardine Grigoryan/HCAV

A joint project conducted over the past three years, is reaching out to the next generation of human rights defenders. 200 young people, who have completed their education but are still struggling to find work, have observed elections and developed legal defences for victims. Many of them have subsequently continued to work with the HCAV.

An annual survey organised by the HCAV and its young collaborators, indicates a clear response: People want political change. They want human rights and democratic rules to be respected. The survey inspires the activists to continue their work.

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