Turkish press: Former Armenian President Kocharian arrested for deadly 2008 crackdown

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ISTANBUL
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In this file photo dated Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2008, Armenian President Robert Kocharian talks to the media at a polling station in Yerevan, Armenia. (AP Photo)

An Armenian court on Friday put the nation's former president in custody on charges linked to a deadly police crackdown on a 2008 protest over alleged voting fraud in which 10 people were killed.

Robert Kocharian, 64, spent two weeks in jail last summer on charges of violating the constitutional order by sending police to break up the protest in the Armenian capital of Yerevan. He was freed on bail on appeal, but on Friday a higher court ordered that he should stay behind bars.

Kocharian's lawyer said he walked to jail without waiting for police to escort him there.

Russia's TASS news agency reported that the 64-year-old politician is under arrest.

"Robert Kocharyan was arrested under a court ruling. As far as I know, he is being kept at the Yerevan-Center penitentiary," TASS quoted the head of Armenia's National Security Service, Artur Vanetsyan.

Kocharian rejects the charges, calling them a political vendetta by incumbent Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, who helped stage the 2008 protest. The demonstration protested the results of an election two weeks earlier for Kocharian's replacement. Eight demonstrators and two police died in the clash.

"The main organizer of the events … tries to clean himself of blood," Kocharian said of Pashinian in a statement Friday.

Armenia's Special Investigative Service had applied to the court accusing Kocharian, who was the president between 1998 and 2008, of overturning the constitutional system in the country. Kocharian denied the accusations.

In the 2008 election, Kocharian, who was president from 1998 to 2008, backed Serzh Sargsyan, who served as Armenia's president for the following decade.

In February-March 2008 the opposition held protest rallies, contesting the result of the election. The protests were dispersed and 10 people, including two police officers, were killed in clashes with police. The Constitutional Court upheld the election result.

Pashinian, an opposition activist at the time, was imprisoned in June 2009 on charges of fomenting unrest during post-election protests.

In April, due to term limits, Sargsyan shifted into the prime minister's seat in what was seen as an attempt to cling to power. But he stepped down after just six days in office in the face of massive protests organized by Pashinian, who then took the prime minister's post.

Wiretaps released earlier this week had Pashinian discussing Kocharian's arrest with the nation's top security official. Pashinian denounced the released recordings as a "declaration of war" by his political foes.

Pashinian has called an early parliamentary election for this Sunday in a bid to win control of parliament, which is still dominated by members of Sargsyan's Republican Party. Pashinian's party is expected to sweep the vote.

He stepped down in October and became acting prime minister to allow parliament to be dissolved and an early election to be held and said he expected a new legislature to emerge that better reflected the country's political realities.

Armenian PM seeks to bolster authority in early parliamentary election

Deutsche Welle, Germany
Dec 9 2018


Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian wants to weaken his predecessor's party in the parliament and cement his leadership. He took over as prime minister in May after weeks of leading anti-corruption protests.

Armenians are voting in an early parliamentary election on Sunday after acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian dissolved parliament in October to shore up his authority.

Pashinian, a former journalist, is hoping the My Step Alliance, which includes his Civil Contract Party, will achieve a parliamentary majority ahead of the former ruling Republican Party. Polls show that the alliance is on course to easily win a majority.

"We set big and difficult goals and we will achieve them, because we are a powerful, victorious free and happy nation," he said at a recent campaign rally.

Pashinian's ascent

Lawmakers elected Pashinian to the prime minister's office in May after he spearheaded weeks of protests against former Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan.

Pashinian and his followers accused Sargsyan of trying to cling to power by becoming prime minister after serving two terms as president. A 2015 constitutional amendment had shifted powers from the presidency to the prime minister's office.

Since entering office, Pashinian has targeted senior Sargsyan associates while the former prime minister has kept a low profile.

Pashinian's agenda

Pashinian, 43, vows to maintain Armenia's close military and economic ties to Russia. The former Soviet republic hosts a Russian military base and is highly dependent on Russian loans and trade.

He also pledges to continue the previous government's support for ethnic Armenian forces that control Nagorno-Karabakh, a break-away region of neighboring Azerbaijan.

That pledge is likely to maintain Armenia's isolation. Azerbaijan and neighboring Turkey closed their borders and cut trade ties to Armenia in response to its supportive policy.

amp/jm (Reuters, AP)

Armenian Election Tests the Revolution’s Power Shift

New York Times
Dec 9 2018
Armenian Election Tests the Revolution’s Power Shift

By Reuters

  • Dec. 9, 2018

YEREVAN, Armenia — Armenians began voting on Sunday in an early parliamentary election as acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan sought a stronger mandate, having been elected by lawmakers in May, after a peaceful revolution this year.

Mr. Pashinyan came to power after weeks of mass protests in April against corruption and cronyism in the former Soviet republic. A former newspaper editor who was jailed for fomenting unrest in 2008, Mr. Pashinyan represents a drastic break from the cadre of rulers who have run Armenia since the late 1990s.

He stepped down in October so that Parliament could be dissolved in readiness for the early election. Former high-ranking officials were dismissed, and some were arrested following the power change. On Friday, a court of appeal ordered the detention of former President Robert Kocharyan on charges of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order.

He was first arrested in July but freed the following month, and the case was sent to the appeals court. Mr. Kocharyan was Armenia’s second president, serving from 1998 to 2008, when mass protests erupted over a disputed election.

The former ruling Republican Party, however, still dominates the current Parliament that was elected in 2017.

Mr. Pashinyan has said he expects Sunday’s vote to lead to a legislature that better reflects the nation’s new political landscape.

Nine parties and two blocs are taking part in the election, and opinion polls suggest the My Step Alliance, which includes Mr. Pashinyan’s Civil Contract Party, will easily win a parliamentary majority. Polling stations opened at 8 a.m. local time, and voting was due to end at 8 p.m.

After taking office, Mr. Pashinyan promised there would be no major shifts in Armenian foreign policy and offered assurances he would not break with Moscow. Armenia hosts a Russian military base and is a member of Russia-led military and economic alliances.

Mr. Pashinyan also suggested he would stick with existing policies on the long-running issue of Nagorno-Karabakh. A mountainous part of Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh is run by ethnic Armenians who declared independence from Baku during a conflict that broke out as the Soviet Union crumbled in 1991.

Though a cease-fire was cemented in 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia still regularly accuse each other of conducting attacks around Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Azeri-Armenian border.

Initiative group to stage protests for ex-President’s release

Panorama, Armenia
Dec 9 2018

An initiative group named “Freedom to President” has announced an intention to start demonstrations demanding the release of Armenia’s former President Robert Kocharyan who is currently placed in detention. 

On December 7, Armenia’s Court of Appeals upheld the first instance court’s ruling to arrest the former president who is accused of overturning the constitutional system.

“The acting leadership of Armenia, violating the constitution and the laws  of the Republic of Armenia, exerting unprecedented pressure on judges, violating the national interest of the Armenian people and downgrading the heroic pages of the newest history, illegally detained the Chairman of the Karabakh State Protection Committee, the President of the Artsakh Republic and a national hero of Artsakh, the second President of the Republic of Armenia,” the statement released by the initiative group reads in part.

The group demands the immediate release of the former president, calling for an end of the “personal vendetta” against him. According to the released statement, a start date for the protest actions is named December 11.

To note, Kocharyan was arrested in July on charges of overthrowing Armenia’s constitutional order during the March 1-2, 2008 post-election events. He was released by the Court of Appeals on 13 August on the basis of immunity from prosecution. On 15 November, the Court of Cassation rejected Kocharyan’s appeal and only partly satisfied the prosecutors’ demands to send the case back to the Court of Appeals for re-examination.
Kocharyan and his lawyers strongly deny the charges as ‘politically motivated’.

Ex-president Serzh Sargsyan casts vote in snap elections

Panorama, Armenia
Dec 9 2018

Armenia’s third President Serzh Sargsyan has cast his ballot in early parliamentary elections in the village of Dzoraghbyur together with his spouse Rita Sargsyan.

He refused to speak to reporters at the polling station. “I will not give an interview to you,” he told reporters.

Eleven political forces, including nine parties and two blocs, are vying for seats in the 101-member National Assembly.

2010 polling stations opened across Armenia at 8am Sunday as the country is electing a new parliament. The polls close at 8pm. 

According to official data, 2,573,779 people are eligible to vote in the snap elections.   

Voter turnout at Armenia’s parliamentary elections stands at 24,53% as of 14:00

Panorama, Armenia
Dec 9 2018

The voter turnout at Sunday’s snap parliamentary elections in Armenia is 24,53% as of 14:00, member of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) Silva Markosyan said.

According to the CEC statistics, 636 055 voters out of 2, 592 479 eligible for voting, have taken part in the polls as of the indicated time.

To remind, the voter turnout at the previous parliamentary elections in 2017 was 33,46% as of 14:00.  

’s-parliamentary-elections-stands-at-24-53-as-of-14-00/2045183

Muere el violinista armenio Rubén Poghosyan, uno de los fundadores de la OFA

El Sur Acapulco, Mexico
  • 27 noviembre, 2018
  • En 1998 llegó Acapulco para colaborar hasta hace unos años como concertino de recién creada Orquesta Filarmónica de Acapulco.

    Acapulco, Guerrero, 27 de noviembre de 2018. El violinista armenio Rubén Poghosyan, uno de los miembros fundadores de la Orquesta Filarmónica de Acapulco, murió la noche del domingo de causas naturales; tenía 80 años de edad.

    Así lo dio a conocer la Secretaría de Cultura del estado en un breve comunicado donde recuerda, el músico nació en Yerevan, Armenia, el 2 de enero de 1938 e inició sus estudios de violín desde los 7 años en el Conservatorio Nacional de la República Armenia donde recibió su diploma de concertista solista y maestro de violín.

    En 1963 ingresó al doctorado y en 1967 recibió el diploma de doctorado en violín.

    Desde 1960 fue integrante de la Orquesta Sinfónica de la Radio y Televisión Armenia donde destacó como concertino principal.

    Maestro del Conservatorio Nacional de Mongolia de 1964 a 1966, fue seleccionado para dar clases en la Escuela de Arte de Pinar del Río en Cuba y en México trabajó como violinista en la naciente Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México en 1980.

    En 1987 fungió como concertino y solista de la Orquesta de Cámara de la República Armenia siendo de 1988 a 1998 concertino de la Orquesta Nacional de la República Armenia.

    Realizó giras con dicha orquesta en Alemania, Austria, Francia, Suiza, España y Grecia y fue que 1998 llegó Acapulco para colaborar hasta hace unos años como concertino de recién creada Orquesta Filarmónica de Acapulco.

    En los últimos tiempos colaboraba de manera indirecta con la orquesta.

    Le sobreviven su esposa, dos hijos y dos nietos.

    Texto: Redacción / Foto: Redes sociales 

     https://suracapulco.mx/2018/11/27/muere-el-violinista-armenio-ruben-poghosyan-uno-de-los-fundadores-de-la-ofa/


    Travel: Peace and disquiet in Armenia

    Hindustan Times, India
    Dec 8 2018
               
    Madhu Jain
    Hindustan Times
    Aerial view of the Unesco World Heritage Site of The Geghard Monastery, which is partially carved out of a mountain(Ajit Pal Singh)

    The first time Armenia entered my consciousness was when I watched The Promise (1979), a love story set in Armenia during the final throes of the Ottoman Empire just before World War I. The film opened my eyes to the horrific genocide of Armenians by the Ottomans. India used to be home to a large Armenian population, and I’d always wondered what had led to this diaspora – another reason the film impacted me so deeply.

    The first country in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion (late 3rd or early 4th century AD), the Armenians have been repeatedly prosecuted for their faith. For two relentless years from 1894, the Ottoman King Sultan Abdul Hamid II ordered the slaughter of an estimated 80,000 to 3,00,000 Armenians because they asked for more rights. This was followed by more massacres in April 1909, where up to 30,000 Armenians were killed. And when WWI broke out, the Turkish government viewed the Armenians with distrust because of the Armenian volunteers in the Russian army. In 1915, a massive number of Armenians living in Turkey’s Anatolia region were liquidated. The killings continued until 1917.

    A year after seeing the film, when a five-day trip to Armenia as part of a visit to the Caucasus was proposed by the Women’s International Club, of which I am a member, I just had to sign up.

    The Tatev Monastery Complex is also a Unesco World Heritage Site (Dhruv Jain)

    Simply spiritual

    Before touching down at Yerevan airport, we flew over the volcanic Mount Ararat, the highest mountain range in Turkey. Prepping for this trip, I had read Genesis 8:4 of the Bible, which said Noah’s Ark landed on the “mountains of Ararat”. Excitement raced through me as I sighted the mountain. My trip to Armenia had started on a high!

    At the airport, tour director Ajit Pal Singh greeted us with chocolates and fine Armenian champagne, which we popped open at the airport itself before settling into our luxury coach. A short drive later we were at our centrally located hotel.

    Churches and monasteries in Armenia were simplicity personified: unadorned, pristine, signifying a religion of the masses

    Soon we headed to the city of Vagharshapat, half an hour’s drive from Yerevan, to see the iconic fourth Century AD Etchmiadzin Cathedral, Armenia’s first cathedral, considered to be the oldest in the world. Built by Armenia’s patron saint Gregory the Illuminator following the adoption of Christianity as a state religion by King Tiridates III, it replaced a pre-existing temple, thereby symbolising the conversion of Armenians from paganism to Christianity. The cathedral is the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church, and its significance as the main shrine of religious Christian Armenians worldwide makes it an important religious, political, and cultural site. It was given Unesco World Heritage status in 2000.

    The fourth century Etchmiadzin Cathedral at Vagharshapat (Dhruv Jain)

    As our trip unfolded, we visited several churches and monasteries, all of which were simplicity personified: unadorned, pristine, signifying a religion of the masses. In some, the main chapel was an empty, cavernous chamber with a single, unembellished cross. There is nothing to distract the devotee from prayer. For anyone on a spiritual quest, I would recommend the churches of Armenia hands down – the very structure of the architecture echoes people’s faith in an almost palpable manner, and it is impossible to come away untouched.

    The author in Khor Virap monastery in the Ararat Plains near the border with Turkey (Dhruv Jain)

    As the late afternoon sun dipped, we began our city tour of Yerevan, taking in the Victory Park with the giant statue of Mother Armenia guarding the city. A Soviet rocket launcher and an S-75 surface-to-air missile at the bottom of the park served as a reminder of Armenia’s history as a former Soviet republic. Indeed, architecturally, the capital city seems caught in a Soviet-era time warp. However, the severity and starkness of the buildings softened magically as night fell on Republic Square, the city’s core. And when the colonnaded government buildings around the park were infused by diffused illumination, the area took on a wholly new character. The musical and dancing fountains sprung into life at 9pm and, much like Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, I could’ve danced all night!

    Man’s inhumanity to man

    The Genocide Memorial in Yerevan (Dhruv Jain)

    Day two proved to be disturbing, leaving me reflecting on man’s brutality and barbarism. Built in 1967 atop Tsitsernakaberd hill in Yerevan, the genocide museum complex is the country’s official memorial to the victims of the Armenian Genocide. The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute and Museum of Armenian History are exceptionally well-documented with first-person accounts and rich research, films, and other memorabilia. Visiting both requires nerves of steel.

    The Genocide Monument was haunting, with slanting pillars going up to the sky in an open pyramid. A flame burnt in the central well of the pyramid and opera-like haunting music played in the background.

    A Soviet Era cruise boat on Lake Sevan (Dhruv Jain)

    I could feel the pain of an entire civilisation. But I also felt the strength of the people who have overcome such adversity and reclaimed their nation. The Armenian diaspora has, like the Jews, been a prosperous community of merchants, traders, scholars, and professionals, and I believe that the Genocide Monument pays tribute to their achievements too.

    Built in 1967 in Yerevan, the genocide museum complex is the country’s memorial to the victims of the Armenian Genocide

    The rest of the day was split between a visit to the Temple of Garni and the Geghard Monastery. The Temple of Garni is the only standing Greco-Roman colonnaded building in Armenia and, indeed, the former Soviet Union. The original structure, completed in 77 AD, is considered to be the best-known symbol of pre-Christian Armenia serving as a central shrine to it. The Geghard Monastery complex is high on a hill, surrounded by just cliffs. A Unesco World Heritage site, the monastery has been partially carved into and out of the mountain, and seems to merge into the rocky outcrops. The rock-cut chambers and wall carvings of crosses are of especial interest.

    Outside, village women were selling souvenirs and local produce including what looked like aam-papad! Later, I was told that these were a sort of fruit lavash.

    The action-packed day ended at The Cascade, a cultural melting pot. This massive limestone stairway connects downtown Yerevan with the Monument neighbourhood, and houses art museums, exhibit halls and contemporary sculptures. Not to mention, trendy cafés. This was modern-day Armenia at its best!

    Hand to the divine

    An ancient church inside Geghard Monastery (Dhruv Jain)

    Day three was devoted wholly to another Unesco Heritage site, the 9th Century Tatev Monastery – among the most remote monasteries in Armenia – which we reached on the Wings of Tatev, one of the longest cableways in the world, which connects the monastery to the town of Halidzor. Our cable ride over the Vorotan river gorge was breathtaking.

    The Tatev Monastery, among the most remote monasteries in Armenia, radiates a spirituality that draws one in

    The monastery has some fascinating features, such as a millstone-driven oil press, the crypt of the last saint of the Armenian Church, Grigor Tatevatsi, and the Gavazan pillar, standing tall as an ancient celestial compass. We were also told that because it was built on a swivelling foundation, the pillar apparently swung from the tramping march of enemy troops! The pillar is the only structure in Armenia that wasn’t destroyed by either humans or nature.

    The monastery radiates a spirituality that draws one in. I could feel divinity all around me. As I wandered on my own, a priest appeared out of the blue and blessed me. It was a sublime moment.

    Local bread being made at a bakery near the Temple of Garni (Ajit Pal Singh)

    The next day we took a long cruise on the crystal clear, untouched waters of Lake Sevan, one of the largest freshwater alpine lakes in Eurasia. An unadorned rough-hewn brick church silhouetted against the azure sky on the promontory of an island took me back in time yet again. Vibrant flea markets surround the lake, selling moonstone bracelets and iron ore knick knacks, among other things.

    The last day was spent in the 6,000-year-old Areni -1 Winery, believed to be the oldest winery in the world, which was discovered just about a decade ago. Today, it’s the centre of Armenian wine making.

    Local fruit-based produce being sold at a roadside market outside Geghard Monastery (Dhruv Jain)

    Which bring us to an essential for every traveller: local cuisine! Armenian food has strong Russian and Mediterranean influences with liberal use of aubergine, walnuts, and a variety of beans. Happily for me, a lot of the dishes use yogurt, a favourite of mine! Since I am a vegetarian, I can vouch for the Armenian dolma or tolma (vine leaves stuffed with cabbage and sometimes with beans), okroksha (chilled buttermilk soup with veggies), the porridge-like vegetarian harissa made with wheat, onions and walnuts, and fresh salads.

    I left Armenia with a deep sense of peace, feeling touched by a divine hand.

    The author is a veteran designer whose exclusive textile innovation, the bamboo silk ikat, has won her international acclaim. She is also an avid traveller who loves exploring unique destinations

    From HT Brunch, December 9, 2018

    https://www.hindustantimes.com/brunch/peace-and-disquiet-in-armenia/story-xa1UyRgKrkXNU9uyoPFaBL.html
               

    Cuando Madrid fue la capital de Armenia… y Cartagena quiso unirse a EEUU

    El Mundo, España
    16 nov. 2018
    • JORGE BENÍTEZ

    LUIS PAREJO

    Cartagena quiso ser un estado de Estados Unidos en 1873, Texas pudo venderse a Gran Bretaña y hay un movimiento en Puerto Rico que promueve el regreso a España… Estos son algunos de los intentos de anexión territorial más locos de la Historia

    La geopolítica es como un motel de carretera con extraños huéspedes que entran y salen. De estancias esporádicas y de pasado oscuro que se oculta por vergüenza o desmemoria. Las anexiones pacíficas de territorios no son muy comunes y en el mundo existen algunas muy curiosas, presas de intereses o de visiones locas. Tanto que resulta que un día Madrid fue capital de Armenia. No sólo eso, lo fue antes que de España.

    En 1375 el rey de Armenia León V de Lusignan cayó preso de los mamelucos. Sufrió cautiverio en el Cairo durante varios años. Su caso fue muy mediático en la época ya que se negó a abjurar del cristianismo, lo que lo convirtió en un símbolo de la fe. El rey Juan I de Castilla intermedió en su liberación y no sólo eso, le entregó el señorío de Madrid, Andújar y Villarreal con 150.000 maravedíes de pensión.

    El historiador Carlos Fisas (1919-2010) cuenta en uno de sus célebres libros anecdotarios que León V trasladó su corte a Madrid, que por entonces debía ser sólo una pequeña villa. Prometió a los madrileños mantener sus privilegios, pero enseguida olvidó sus compromisos generando gran malestar entre sus súbditos. Ante las quejas, el rey de Castilla prometió que estas poblaciones regresarían a su dominio a la muerte de León V. Sin embargo, su sucesor Enrique III no quiso esperar tanto y revocó la donación dos años antes de la muerte del armenio, que había abandonado su mini reino camino de Francia.

    En el protocolo de la geoestrategia, al igual que en el de la cortesía, para entrar antes hay que dejar salir. En la era del Brexit y el procés, hay algunos movimientos muchos más desconocidos y que por su escaso apoyo son bastante peregrinos. Hablamos de los 'exit' (salida) americanos.

    Por ejemplo, están los 'Texit' en Texas, un estado que ha formado parte de la historia de México y Estados Unidos y que entre papá y mamá ha querido varias veces independizarse. Lo que apenas se sabe es que un abogado llamado Stephen Pearl Andrews intento vender Texas a Gran Bretaña.

    Se trataba de un plan para abolir la esclavitud en este territorio jugando la baza de la intervención extranjera (en Inglaterra la Ley de abolición es de 1833). Los texanos no estaban muy por la labor, incluso terminaron formando parte de los Estados Confederados de América que perderían la guerra de Secesión (1861-1865) que puso fin a la esclavitud en EEUU.

    Un líder del Cantón de Cartagena pidió por carta a la Casa Blanca ondear la bandera de EEUU en la ciudad murciana

    En el ámbito nacional, y pocos años después a lo sucedido en Texas, se dio otro caso muy particular. Durante la rebelión del cantón de Cartagena contra el gobierno de la Primera República, Roque Barcia, líder destacado de la sublevación, envió una carta el 16 de diciembre de 1873 al presidente de Estados Unidos, Ulysses S. Grant (el general nordista vencedor de la guerra de Secesión), a través de su embajador en Madrid, Daniel E. Sickles. La misiva solicitaba izar la bandera estadounidense para detener los bombardeos que sufría la ciudad por parte de las fuerzas gubernamentales. Su intención final era adherirse a Estados Unidos como estado de pleno derecho. Un proyecto que, de haberse consumado, habría llevado a la hoy ciudad murciana a ser una estrella de la bandera de Estados Unidos. La Casa Blanca nunca contestó.

    Mientras unos se querían marchar, otros están nostálgicos. En Puerto Rico hay un partido que cada vez cuenta con más adeptos. Se trata del Movimiento para la Reunificación con España , un fenómeno muy curioso si tenemos en cuenta que en la política puertorriqueña antes sólo existían partidos independentistas y favorables a convertirse en estado de pleno derecho de Estados Unidos. Sus reivindicaciones se basan en la presunta indiferencia de los estadounidenses. Primero durante la crisis de 2008 y, sobre todo, por la pobre respuesta del gobierno de EEUU tras el paso del huracán María, que dañó aún más la economía de este estado libre asociado

    "Queremos recuperar la igualdad política que perdimos en 1898 [año en que dejó de ser colonia española tras la guerra con EEUU]. Somos ciudadanos de segunda. No votamos al presidente, no tenemos senadores o representantes en Washington", reivindicó hace unos meses José Nieves Seise, líder del movimiento.

    Una cosa está clara. En 2018 Ereván no es Madrid ni Cartagena, Kansas

    Azerbaijan Must Be Held Accountable for the Destruction of Armenian Cultural Heritage / L’Azerbaïdjan doit être tenu pour responsable de la destruction du patrimoine culturel arménien

    Armenian
    National Committee of Canada

    Comité
    National Arménien du Canada

     

    Tel./Tél. (613) 235-2622

    E-mail/Courriel:[email protected]

    www.anccanada.org

     

    -PRESS RELEASE-

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

     

    December 8, 2018                                                                           Contact:
    Sevag Belian (613) 235-2622

     

     

    Azerbaijan Must Be Held
    Accountable for the Destruction of Armenian Cultural Heritage

    Ottawa – Today, the Armenian National Committee of
    Canada (ANCC) sorrowfully marks the 13th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s
    destruction of the historic Armenian cemetery of Djulfa. The ANCC is calling on
    the Canadian government to hold Azerbaijan accountable for the systematic
    destruction of Armenian historical, cultural, and religious sites and
    monuments.

    On December 10, 2005, in the framework of a
    state-sanctioned policy of hate and destruction, the government of Azerbaijan
    began its demolition project of the historic Armenian cemetery in Djulfa, an
    ancient Armenian city now located in Azerbaijan. This marked the final blow to
    the 10,000 intricately hand carved khachkars
    (stone crosses) which were erected since the 6th century all the way through
    the 17th century. Through khachkars is
    expressed a unique Armenian art form of stone carving, which UNESCO has
    recognized the cultural and religious significance to the Armenian people. Its
    beauty, detail, and importance are part of humanity’s shared intangible
    cultural heritage, and the khachkars have
    been identified to need urgent safeguarding.

    By December 15, 2005, the final destruction was
    complete. Approximately 200 Azerbaijani soldiers gathered at the
    Nakhichevan-Iran border to desecrate the remaining grave markers at the Djulfa
    Armenian cemetery. The cemetery has since been replaced with an Azerbaijani
    military training base.

    Despite clear evidence and condemnation by
    international bodies such as the European Parliament and International Council
    on Monuments and Sites, Azerbaijani authorities continue to deny this crime,
    while still promoting the destruction of all Armenian religious and cultural
    sites in the country.

    Shahen Mirakian, President of the ANCC, stated, “As if
    Azerbaijan's continuous aggression towards the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh
    are not enough, their brazen denial of this heinous cultural crime comes to add
    insult to injury. This is not a behaviour that we, nor the international
    community, should stay silent about.”

     

    -30-

     

    ******

     

     

    The ANCC is the largest and the most influential Canadian-Armenian
    grassroots human rights organization. Working in coordination with a network of
    offices, chapters, and supporters throughout Canada and affiliated organizations
    around the world, the ANCC actively advances the concerns of the Canadian-Armenian
    community on a broad range of issues and works to eliminate abuses of human
    rights throughout Canada and the world.

     

     

    Armenian
    National Committee of Canada

    Comité
    National Arménien du Canada

     

    Tel./Tél. (613) 235-2622

    E-mail/Courriel:[email protected]

    www.anccanada.org

     

    Communiqué de presse

    8
    decembre, 2018                                                                   Contact: Sevag Belian (613) 235-2622

     

     

    L'Azerbaïdjan doit être tenu pour responsable de la
    destruction du patrimoine culturel arménien

     

    Ottawa – Aujourd’hui, le Comité national
    arménien du Canada (CNAC) marque avec tristesse le 13ème anniversaire de la
    destruction du cimetière historique arménien de Djulfa par l’Azerbaïdjan. Le
    CNAC demande au gouvernement canadien de tenir l'Azerbaïdjan responsable de la
    destruction systématique de sites et monuments historiques, culturels et
    religieux arméniens.

     

    Le 10 décembre 2005, dans le cadre d'une
    politique de haine et de destruction sanctionnée par l'État, le gouvernement
    azerbaïdjanais a lancé le projet de démolition du cimetière arménien historique
    de Djulfa. Djulfa est une ancienne ville arménienne actuellement située en
    Azerbaïdjan. Cela a porté le coup final aux 10 000 khachkars (croix de pierre), sculptés à la main avec minutie et
    érigés depuis le 6ème siècle jusqu'au 17ème siècle. À travers les khachkars est exprimée une forme d'art
    arménien unique de sculpture sur pierre, dont l'UNESCO a reconnue l'importance
    culturelle et religieuse pour le peuple arménien. Sa beauté, ses détails et son
    importance font partie du patrimoine culturel immatériel commun de l’humanité
    et les khachkars ont été identifiés
    comme nécessitant une sauvegarde urgente.

     

    Le 15 décembre 2005, la destruction finale
    était terminée. Environ 200 soldats azerbaïdjanais se sont rassemblés à la
    frontière irakienne entre Nakhichevan et l'Iran pour profaner les pierres
    tombales du cimetière arménien de Djulfa. Le cimetière a depuis été remplacé
    par une base d'entraînement militaire azerbaïdjanaise.

     

    En dépit de preuves claires et de condamnations
    par des organismes internationaux tels que le Parlement européen et le Conseil
    international des monuments et des sites, les autorités azerbaïdjanaises
    continuent de nier ce crime, tout en encourageant la destruction de tous les
    sites religieux et culturels arméniens du pays.

     

    Shahen Mirakian, président du CNAC, a déclaré:
    « Comme si l'agression continue de l'Azerbaïdjan contre les républiques
    d'Arménie et d'Artsakh ne suffisait pas, le déni effronté de ce crime culturel
    odieux vient ajouter l'insulte au préjudice. Ce n'est pas un comportement que
    nous, ni la communauté internationale, devrions garder le silence. »

     

     

    -30-

     

    ******

     

    Le CNAC est l’organisation politique
    canadienne-arménienne la plus large et influente au
    Canada. Le CNAC s'occupe activement de représenter
    le point de vue collectif arméno-canadien sur les

    questions d'intérêt public, et de soutenir et promouvoir les questions
    relatives aux droits de l'homme au Canada et à l'échelle internationale. Le
    CNAC travaille en étroite collaboration avec ses bureaux régionaux et des
    associations affiliées à travers le Canada, ainsi qu'avec d'autres
    organisations arméniennes poursuivant des objectifs similaires à travers le
    monde. 

    Sevag Belian – Executive Director
    Armenian National Committee of Canada
    T: (613) 235-2622 | C: (905) 329-8526
    E: