The Armenian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum is concerned about the restarting of the Amulsar mine.
It is stated in the message of the platform:
"2023 on February 22, the RA government signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding with the Eurasian Development Bank and "Lidian Armenia" CJSC to resume the exploitation of the Amulsar gold-bearing quartzite mine. According to the memorandum, "Lydian Armenia" CJSC donated 12.5% of its shares to the government, thanks to which the government undertook corporate policy commitments together with its partners in the Amulsar project, the Eurasian Development Bank and "Lydian Armenia".
We express our deep concern over the relaunch of a project that was negatively assessed by specialized representatives of Armenian and European civil society in terms of the protection of fundamental human rights and recognized as economically unsustainable and destructive to local communities and the environment. : Thus, in 2022 In June, the International Federation of Human Rights, the international network "CEE Bankwatch Network" and the Civil Society Institute presented "Amulsar. Human Rights Violations and Environmental Negligence in Searching for Gold" report. The report contains extensive evidence of serious violations of a wide range of rights during the operation of the Amulsar gold mine, from material and procedural environmental rights to the social, economic and political rights of affected individuals and communities. Moreover, there are examples of significant barriers to justice and remedies for rights holders who have so far unsuccessfully sought redress through judicial and extrajudicial mechanisms.
There is convincing evidence that the Armenian government repeatedly violated international law regarding the Amulsar issue and did not protect the rights of human health and a healthy environment, peaceful assembly, freedom of speech, information, participation in decision-making and access to justice. Although most of these human rights violations were committed by the state before 2018. The Velvet Revolution, unfortunately, the new government has not taken sufficient steps either to protect the environment and human rights defenders, or to protect people's rights in local communities, or to eliminate past violations.
The reports of the UN Special Rapporteurs on Human Rights and the Compliance Committee of the Aarhus Convention call on the Armenian state to provide substantive consultation on the Amulsar project. In addition, the 2020 resolution of the UN Human Rights Committee regarding Armenia. The report contains Armenia's recommendations on civil and political rights and anti-corruption measures, and asks the state to "provide detailed information on corruption allegations surrounding the Amulsar gold mine."
We also express our bewilderment regarding the capital involvement of the government of the Russian Federation through the Eurasian Bank, in which the latter has a 44% stake, in the Amulsar restart plan. It contains the risks of increasing Armenia's already impermissibly high dependence on Russia, as well as the risk of this company operating in Armenia falling under EU and other international sanctions in the future.
We appeal to the Government of the Republic of Armenia representing the parties to the Comprehensive and Extended Partnership Agreement, the Delegation of the European Union to Armenia, the embassies of the EU member states, urging them to support the civil society of Armenia in the protection of the rights of people and local communities, to evaluate the Memorandum, taking into account the sanctions against the Russian Federation and Amulsar. the revealed facts of violation of rights in the program, to facilitate the conduct of broad public discussions about the Amulsar project, and to open the information about the terms of the Memorandum, obligations and other closed facts, if any."