Armenia

Armenia’s 2018 popular Velvet Revolution brought to power a new government with an anti-corruption agenda and a strong desire to reform the criminal justice system.  With significant U.S. support, Armenia has made commendable strides toward fighting corruption and pursuing democratic and economic reforms, but more work remains to bolster Armenia’s resilience in the face of malign influence.

INL works closely with the Armenian government and civil society to build criminal justice sector capacity and establish reliable, transparent, and accountable rule of law institutions that root out corruption and promote regional security.  INL also engages diplomatically through the annual U.S.-Armenia Strategic Dialogue, with INL leadership chairing the dialogue’s Justice Sector Working Group.

INL Programming

  • Law Enforcement – shift focus to human rights-oriented policing and public service principles.
  • Rule of Law – strengthen the ability of the Armenian government to prosecute crime including corruption-related crimes; support institutional reforms to promote more transparent and accountable criminal justice systems.

Goals

INL seeks to support Armenia by helping its law enforcement agencies adopt modern, reliable, service-oriented, and professional practices in both the execution of their work and the management of institutions.

INL also supports Armenia in establishing and maintaining investigative, prosecutorial, and judicial anti-corruption bodies that are empowered and adequately resourced to identify, investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate cases of public corruption.

Accomplishments

After the 2018 Velvet Revolution, INL supported Armenia in building accountable institutions and initiating reforms.

  • With INL support in 2019 and 2020, Armenia instituted human rights and anti-corruption principles in the mandatory educational curriculum for judges, investigators, prosecutors, and public defenders.
  • With INL support, Armenia established a new citizen-oriented Patrol Police Service that became operational in Yerevan in 2021 and is on schedule to achieve nationwide coverage by the end of 2023.
  • In 2022, INL successfully facilitated the expansion of the Patrol Police Service outside of Yerevan and developed legislation to establish a Ministry of Internal Affairs (MOIA), an initiative that the Armenian Parliament passed in December 2022.
  • INL-sponsored anti-corruption trainings have directly contributed to an increase in corruption-related prosecutions since the 2018 Velvet Revolution.
  • From 2020-2022, Armenia established specialized anti-corruption courts, an anti-corruption investigative body, and a civil asset forfeiture division in the Prosecutor General’s Office.  INL was instrumental in the design and establishment of these institutions and assisted with key legislation necessary to authorize their creation.
  • In 2020 with INL support, Armenia drafted new asset forfeiture legislation to help deprive criminals and corrupt actors of their ill-gotten gains.  Within three years of drafting, the Prosecutor General’s Office initiated nearly 200 case examinations and successfully settled two large cases, with a third one expected by the end of 2023.
  • In October 2021, Armenia formally established an Anti-Corruption Committee (ACC).  Within three months, the ACC finalized indictments against seven officials.  In 2022, the ACC finalized cases against 63 individuals.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future