UNHCR Rep Accused of Corruption in Case of Refugees from Azerbaijan in Armenia

The civil society network “Refugees and International Law” sent a letter to Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan in which it accuses a UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative of corruption.

In the letter published by Regnum news agency, the civil society group refers to a specific case in which Azerbaijani refugees in the Armenian village of Kasakh continue to reside in former prison cells. The Japanese government reportedly provided $760,000 USD to built two apartment complexes in the village. The opening ceremony of the first building took place on Jun. 25, 2010. After a while it became known that all of the amount had been spent and the second building will not be constructed. Over a period of several months, the new building began to crack and it was declared that it would be demolished. Later it was decided to renovate the building instead, to strengthen its foundations.

The letter also notes that the the UNHCR Office managed the funds provided by the Japanese government, and those responsible for implementing this project were UNHCR Public Information Assistant Rosa Minasyan, head of the RA MInistry of Territorial Administration’s State Migration Service Gagik Yeganyan and Kasakh chief of staff A. Mkrtchyan.

Construction of the second building is nearly completed (how it was financed is unknown) and a decision has been made to give the apartment units to families along with those in the reconstructed first building.

“No one knows the criteria with which the process of distributing flats will be implemented, but already arbitrary [decisions] have been allowed in the process. The inescapable fact is that $760,000 has been wasted and you, as head of government, declared the fight against corruption… We expect that you will clarify all the circumstances of the case and if there are the necessary grounds, you will suggest to the prosecutor’s office to apply necessary measures to identify the perpetrators,” reads the letter.



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