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PACE condemns mining-related human rights violations in Armenia

Jan. 25 Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) declaration condemned mining projects in Armenia that disregard the rights of citizens...The statement accused the Armenian government of “violating its international obligations, such as...the European Convention on Human Rights, the Aarhus Convention...Armenian legislation, by considering the agricultural lands of community and private ownership as being under the public supreme interest, against the will of their owners and the general public, [and] forcefully tak[ing] those lands from their owners, chang[ing] their purpose and turn[ing] thousands of hectares over to mining, including the Teghut mine.”...Activists...are concerned that mining waste will be dumped into the Duqanadzor River Gorge, which will contaminate the water supply...[I]nhabitants of the village of Kajaran...face losing around 600 hectares of communal land...which will reportedly drive 131 families off their properties. The governor of Syunik, Suren Khachatryan, is said to have shares with Cronimet, the German-owned molybdenum mining company that holds the contract for mining in the area...Environmentalists also worry that birth defects will increase...

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