168: There are no political prisoners in Armenia, says Prosecutor General

Category
Politics

Armenia’s Prosecutor General Arthur Davtyan has announced that there are no political prisoners in the country.

Speaking to reporters in the parliament, Mr. Davtyan stressed that numerous reputed international structures, numerous embassies, various human rights organizations have carried out monitoring in the last years and none has acknowledged anyone as a political prisoner in Armenia.

“It turns out that we all cite the definition of political prisoner in the relevant international legal document but when it’s the turn for commenting we fall into extremes. I have often seen comments which cause an impression that if someone is engaged in politics and then one day this someone is imputated with crime then this someone is a political prisoner. But that’s wrong, materials are required for this,” he said.

He clarified that when charges are brought against someone it is done by describing an act, which has compliance with an act under the criminal code. “Now at this important moment we must do our best in order for not to decrease the role of our courts. Evidences are being examined openly and publicly in the court, after this all there will be appropriate assessments,” he said.

Speaking on the release of Andrias Ghukasyan on a signature bond from remand, Davtyan stressed that this has been the court’s decision and he hasn’t gotten acquainted with neither the decision nor the grounds for Ghukasyan’s release.

“We’ve had hundreds of cases when we didn’t agree with the court’s verdict, we have appealed. As a result of these appeals we’ve had both [overruling] and [upholding]. This is a court proceeding where there is nothing new”, he said.

A reporter asked the Prosecutor General if his contradiction with PM Nikol Pashinyan’s statement on political prisoners (PM Pashinyan states that there are political prisoners in Armenia) won’t obstacle joint work with the Prime Minister, to which Davtyan responded: “Any official can present his/her viewpoint, a prosecutor is presenting his/her viewpoint based on existing materials in the proceeding, while I don’t see any contradiction in terms of joint work”.

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