The Armenian government plans to adopt a new constitution, which would give the country a parliamentary government. An Armenian friend of mine told me that it also includes a paragraph, which would allow for killing someone if it is "absolutely necessary". She sent me this infrographic:

Two articles of the possible future Armenian constitution - text is Armenian.

While I don't speak Armenian myself, she told me, that it roughly translates to"

The taking of lives is not punishable, if it is the consequence of actions which are absolutely necessary

I don't know whether it is defined anywhere else what "absolutely necessary" means. I don't even know, if the translation is accurate as it is.

Does the draft of the new Armenian constitution really include a paragraph which allows killing people when "absolutely necessary"?

  • 3
    I don't see the point of this. Even if they are not drafted into the constitutions, many other countries have the death penalty.
    – March Ho
    Jul 24, 2015 at 12:28
  • 2
    The point is, that it seems to be left unspecified what "absolutely necessary" is. The death penalty is a punishment, which most of the time is awarded for a crime. This paragraph could open loophole to legalize killing innocent people.
    – M.Herzkamp
    Jul 24, 2015 at 12:31
  • 22
    Many countries permit killing in self-defence, when it is absolutely necessary.
    – Oddthinking
    Jul 24, 2015 at 13:32
  • 5
    I understand that the couple of paragraphs cited doesn't define the circumstances of "absolutely necessary". I'm having trouble seeing what the controversy is. I can't read Armenian, but the claimed translation text seems prosaic to me. I get from the format of the medium that the author of the graphic is outraged, but I don't have the context to know what it is about.
    – Oddthinking
    Jul 24, 2015 at 15:32
  • 7
    Is the claim that (under the proposed constitution) the government is allowed to kill people when absolutely necessary, or that citizens are allowed to do so? Jul 24, 2015 at 17:22

1 Answer 1


Article 24 Chapter 2 of the 1995 Armenian Constitution states:

Everyone shall have a right to life. No one shall be condemned to the death penalty or executed.

Chapters 8 and 9 discuss adoption and amendment of their Constitution. Similar to other national constitutions, amendments or replacements occur via an official process that includes public notice and voting.

The USA Library of Congress has this notice about proposed Amendments to the Armenian Constitution from 2014. It mentions various legal details but nothing as significant as eliminating the right to life or allowing the death penalty.

Among the key innovations proposed by the draft Concept are:

  • conducting elections for the President and National Assembly (Parliament) on the same day;

  • transforming the current national political system into a parliamentarian form of government, with the President as the head of state elected by the Parliament from a list of non-partisan candidates, for a term of seven years without the possibility of reelection;

  • having the Prime Minister assume his position based on the outcome of parliamentary elections;

  • remaking the current three-level judiciary system into a two-level system and introducing courts with jurors; and

  • giving the Constitutional Court the authority to decide on jurisdictional issues that arise among different government agencies. (Id. at 27.)

I have no idea what the graphic in the original post depicts (are those armed men? is that a weapon being fired? a flashlight amplified by night vision? or just a white line?). Dropping it into Google image search yielded some news articles, including this one about a clash between police and protestors that could be translated to English with Google Translate.

The picture and text does not suggest itself to be an official source of knowledge on the Armenian Constitution but rather a commentary or protest of some sort.

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