On 4 February 2019, the Amalia Kostanyan Prize Award Ceremony was held at Grant Hotel Yerevan organized by Transparency International Anticorruption Center and OSI Armenia.
The first prize was awarded to 'Restart' student initiative for its principle activities and significant contribution to the development of civil society. This initiative was active not only within students but also in the course of Velvet Revolution. The prize was awarded to civil activist Davit Petrosyan and Shushan Harutyunyan.
The second prize after Amalia Kostanyan for 2018 was awarded to Amulsar protectors for their persistent and peaceful fight to live in a healthy environment. We speak about Jermuk community residents, who are fighting against Amulsar gold mining project and have been blocking the roads leading to the mine for more 7 months.
'By awarding this prestigious prize to Amulsar protectors we are expressing our solidary with them. They have chosen life and not mine and with their persistent fight they raised a wave of solidary both in and out of Armenia,' human rights defender Zaruhi Hovhannisyan said.
The prize was awarded to Jermuk resident Aharon Arsenyan. 'Fight against Amulsar is not only environmental: the residents are fighting for their rights, as the mining company hasn't taken the opinion of the local residents into consideration at all, while their opinion is a negative one. Recently we've collected signatures and 3000 residents signed to confirm they are against metallic mining in Jermuk. The mining company is often intimidating us with international courts but these 3000 signatures show no country and no court have a right to judge our fight. Jermuk is resort town famous for its mineral water, it's a touristic town. These three directions are in direct contrast with mining. The destiny of Amulsar was determined still on 22 June, when we, the locals, decided that Amulsar shall remain a mountain. When we started this fight, there were many NGOs and environmentalists in the fight before us and we would like to award this prize to them,' Aharon Arsenyan said.
It should be mentioned that Amalia Kostanyan was the founder of Transparency International Anticorruption Center and she was the chair of the organization for one decade until her sudden death in 2010.
February 04, 2019 at 20:45