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February 20, 2021
Online Hate Speech against Vulnerable Groups

Arman Gharibyan

Human Rights Power (CSF ANP WG1)

In recent years, both worldwide and in Armenia the manifestations of hate speech and the need to prevent them have been actively discussed. Almost everyone notices the atmosphere of hatred, especially on social networks, but not all of them contribute to the reduction of hate speech. Moreover, many provoke and encourage the use of hate speech.

Inadequate legislative regulations and political instability further contribute to the spread of hate speech. No comprehensive research on hate speech has been carried out in Armenia yet, so it is difficult to assess the causes, volume and consequences of its origin. This study does not claim to do that either. Our goal is to record hate speech against vulnerable groups and present recommendations to stakeholders on it.

In the first part of the study we have tried to define the main concepts used, to substantiate the selection of vulnerable groups, as well as to address the gaps in the legislation of the Republic of Armenia. In the second part, we introduce an expert opinion on the spread of hate speech against vulnerable groups in online space and the effective fight against it.

The following experts were interviewed within the frames of the study:

Zaruhi Hovhannisyan, human rights activist, representative of Coalition to Stop Violence against Women;

Sashik Sultanyan, human rights activist, President of “Yezidi Center for Human Rights” non-governmental organization;

Irina Sagradova-Gasparyan, human rights activist,  President of the Federation of the Assyrian Organizations of Armenia “Khayadta”;

Isabella Sargsyan, expert on religious freedom, Human rights programs director at Eursasia Partnership Foundation;

Arthur Ispiryan, Head of public relations department at the Christian Religious Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Armenia;

Sergey Gabrielyan, human rights activist, Prersident of “New Generation” Humanitarian NGO;

Lilit Martirosyan, human rights activist, President of “Right Side” human rights defender NGO.

To read the full study follow the link.