The hashtag #ArstsakhStrong was recently spread far and shared widely when the sons and citizens of Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh Republic/NKR) defended bravely against Azerbaijan’s violent incursion onto Armenian sovereign territory in April. With the National Assembly’s May 5, appointment of Ruben Melikyan as the Republic of Artsakh’s new Ombudsman/Human Rights Defender, Artsakh has now become even stronger.
For many years, Melikyan has anchored the Armenian Bar Association’s (ABA) initiatives and interests in the Republic of Armenia, primarily with ground-breaking work designed to advance the rule of law and judicial ethics and transparency. On the flip side, he has been the centerpiece of the Association’s legal panels and presentations at its national and international conferences in the diaspora. A true legal prodigy, before even reaching the age of 30, Melikyan’s portfolio of commitment includes a professorship at Yerevan State University’s Faculty of Law, Deputy Justice Minister of the Republic of Armenia, and Rector of Armenia’s Justice Academy. While others in his generation have sought professional and personal prosperity beyond Armenia’s borders, he has found solace and satisfaction only in the shadow of Mt. Ararat and now at ground zero in the Mountainous Republic of Artsakh.
Within the last few months, the Armenian Bar Association has redoubled its efforts—going as far as amending its mission statement—to help pave the way for worldwide recognition of Artsakh as an independent country, entitled under applicable international law to the protections and responsibilities of a sovereign nation. In 2015, while leading the Justice Academy in Yerevan, Melikyan received an Armenian Bar delegation comprised of Board Members Armen K. Hovannisian and Garo Ghazarian, and members Judge Zaven Sinanian, Steve Dadaian, and Raffi Sarrafian to embolden the advancement of Armenia’s legal profession and public interest. Hitting the ground running on his first day on the job, Melikyan has already initiated plans to petition international tribunals in light of Azerbaijan’s violations of its own laws and international norms when it unilaterally attacked, murdered, and mutilated Artsakh’s non-combatant citizens. “These atrocities should be condemned and the international community should give an appropriate response. There is enough evidence of grave wrongdoings, which we will marshal and present, for which Azerbaijan must be held accountable,” said Melikyan.
Armenian Rights Watch Committee – ARWC
Armenian Bar Association
Source: Armenian Weekly Mid-West