Search for tag "Persecution, Armenia"
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|2019 (In the year)
||During the year, Edward Manasyan, a prominent member of the Bahá'í community, continued to face charges of facilitating illegal migration to the country by advising Iranians wishing to settle in Armenia.
He had been arrested and charged in 2017 and held under pretrial detention for eight months before the trial court judge released him on bail in July 2018.
Local NGOs and human rights lawyers shared concerns about the surveillance of Bahá'í community members preceding Manasyan’s arrest, which they believed was approved in violation of the law because it violated lawyer-client privilege.
In April the Bahá'í community filed a countersuit against the NSS with the Court of Appeals, stating the National Security Service (NSS) illegally used wiretaps to surveil a Bahá'í community member and the community’s office and used the information gathered as the basis to charge Manasyan. According to the documents provided to the Bahá'í community, the surveillance authorizations were approved based on the assertion that Manasyan was the head of a “religious-sectarian” organization and was “soul-hunting,” but no charges were proffered on these grounds. [Armenia 2019 International Religious Freedom Report from the US Embassy]