UNICEF-Armenia head 'spy for UK and Azerbaijan?'
There is a new scandal in Armenia: now the head of the Armenian bureau of the UN Children’s Fund, Maryanne Clark-Hatting, has become the protagonist of media and social media publications.
The powers of the UNICEF representative in Armenia were terminated, the Armenian government declared her a persona-non-grata. She has already left Armenia.
The Foreign Ministry explained the decision of the Armenian side by the problems with the implementation of Maryanne Clark-Hatting her mandate and the methods of work that did not facilitate cooperation.
However, the explanation of the Foreign Ministry was preceded by the publication of Armenian Telegram channels, which, referring to their sources, wrote that the Armenian authorities suspected a UN employee of spying for Azerbaijan and Great Britain.
The case has already reached the General Prosecutor’s Office of Armenia, where they are now studying publications that speak of espionage by the former representative of the UN Children’s Fund in Armenia.
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Details of the scandal
On the evening of March 8, Telegram channel Mediaport reported that the head of the Armenian bureau of UNICEF, Maryanne Clark-Hatting, was engaged in espionage in favor of Azerbaijan and the UK, which is why the Armenian authorities declared her persona non grata.
“Clark-Hatting is already collecting things, and the Armenian authorities want to hide this fact from the public,” the author of the channel said.
Then, information appeared in the Armenian media that Maryanne Clark-Hatting left Armenia in a hurry. Moreover, such haste was allegedly due to the mistakes that Clark-Hatting made in the course of fulfilling her mission. However, it was not reported what kind of errors and shortcomings are in question.
On March 9, the Prosecutor General’s Office joined the case. The press secretary of the department Arevik Khachatryan said that the prosecutor’s office has no information that Marianne Clark-Hatting was engaged in espionage in favor of Azerbaijan and Great Britain, but the publications are being studied:
“On this fact, no criminal proceedings are being conducted. If the authors of publications have specific and definite information, they are obliged to transfer it to law enforcement agencies.”
Marianne Clark-Hatting started working in Armenia just 8 months ago – in July 2020. Prior to that, she worked in Malaysia.
Colleagues of the head of UNICEF learned about everything from the press
“We all learned about it from the publications in the press,” said Zara Sargsyan, head of the communications department of the UNICEF bureau in Armenia. Commenting on rumors about possible espionage in favor of Azerbaijan and Great Britain, she stated: “At the present time, we must all rely on what the Foreign Ministry has published, where I have not seen this word.”
Zara Sargsyan was also unable to give a clear answer to the question of which shortcomings in the work are mentioned in the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and suggested contacting the department itself for clarification.