Mikael Danielyan dies

We are saddened to learn about the death of Armenian human rights defender Mikael ("Mika") Danielyan this morning.

 -Mika was a pioneer of human rights activism in Armenia and an honest and courageous human rights defender, never afraid of bringing up even the most controversial issues and cases in the country, Secretary General Bjørn Engesland says. – Among many other issues, he was the first mainstream human rights activist to defend the rights of sexual minorities, a position which brought him both harassment and enemies. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee cooperated with Mika on many different issues, like the monitoring of the conditions in prisons. Through his authority, he gained access to high security prisons even when others could not. In 2005, Mikael Danielyan observed Norwegian Parliamentary elections.  This summer Mika hosted a joint mission to enquire police violence against protesters in Yerevan in July. The report from the mission, which will be co-published by NHC shortly, will be dedicated to Mikael Danielyan. Mika will be deeply missed.