Nareg Hartounian’s case is just another example of serious and widespread violations of human rights in Armenia. What makes this case particularly troubling is the fact that it may also stand out as a serious violation of property rights. Well, let’s hope that it will not be the outcome.
Property rights are central to the legal and political order for societies. Without such rights, it is not feasible to have a democratic society that can guarantee freedom for its citizens. It is this unconditional protection that the court systems must provide to all. This is the right that propels societies into economic growth by providing favorable and secure environment for investments. As Harvard historian Niall Ferguson argues in his latest book, Civilization: The West and The Rest, the system in the United States is based on property rights, and it is one of the main reasons why North America has been more successful than Central/South America.
It is hard to explain to US or European investors the bizarre cases where several parties claim ownership of the same property in Armenia. Or the moment that you become a land owner in Armenia, it is wise to build a high wall around your property so that you can physically stop others from claiming ownership. It is also hard to explain the case with Nareg, who has arbitrarily become the subject of abuse and extortion. This sends a very unfortunate yet clear signal to the world investment community which shows that property rights are not respected in Armenia and foreign properties and investments may be at risk.
Freedom does not only include freedom of speech and religion. It is also freedom to own. And let’s not forget that this freedom is protected by the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia.
Everyone shall have the right to freely own, use, dispose of and bequeath the property belonging to him/her.
I admire Nareg and the fight that he and his family put out. It is a fight to preserve the most fundamental principal upon which a true democratic society is built on, one that is based on guaranteed protection of human rights and property rights. Nareg is clearly the underdog in this fight. I do hope and pray that the judges in Armenia take this high-profile case very seriously, protect Nareg and his family’s properties in Armenia, and do not make a mockery of the Constitution.
Viewed 2991 times Baffling Wealth: How Did Marzpet Khachatryan Boost Revenues from 3 Million to 7 Billion?
Viewed 2270 times MP Bagratyan to Government: "Go to Google Map and see how much land is devoted to grape growing"
Viewed 2075 times ARF MP to Ministers: "The people would beat you up in the streets"
Viewed 1060 times Mystery Dig: Who's Removing the Pipes in Lori?
Viewed 1048 times Bruno Didn't Know the Armenian-Turkish Border Was Closed: A Traveller's Tale
Viewed 978 times Agricultural Expert: Armenia's Hail Cannons Ineffective and Outdated