Bringing Injustice to Light in Armenia

Author: Lusine Balyan


Digging into what lays under the surface is almost a vocation for Zhanna Aleksanyan.

So when the Armenian military Prosecutor’s Office charged a murdered soldier with four crimes, including sexual assault, the 63-year-old journalist started working with a fellow journalist to investigate the case - the soldier had died under unclear circumstances, but the charge meant that the military investigation was likely not to proceed.

This case is one of the many that Aleksanyan and her team investigated at For Rights, an Armenian online news outlet focusing on analysis and investigation on human rights violations. Aleksanyan spent most of her working life as an investigative journalist and then decided to apply her skills to uncover human rights abuses. In the mid-2000s she worked for Human Rights Watch in Central Asia and upon returning to Armenia in 2008 she founded the Yerevan-based NGO Journalists for Human Rights.

The organization follows court proceedings closely and provides legal consultation and support to political prisoners and soldiers’ families to uncover abuses in the army. The NGO’s website provides a platform to investigate cases of violations and corruption.

October 2018, The 'Peace Builders' edition