A1+: “Privet Rob” protest action against Second President

In front of the Erebuni Plaza, where the press conference of Robert Kocharyan is undergoing, dozens of protesters are gathered.

Sargis Kloyan, father of Gor Elyan, who was killed in March, said in an interview with “A1 +” that decision of releasing Robert Kocharyan was an unexpected decision and shocking.

In Sargis Kloyan’s opinion, the fact that judge Azaryan worked in Kocharyan’s administration for five years has an influene on the decision of the Appellate Court. Eloyan is convinced that after this decision Kocharyan will take part in the political processes.

The number of participants in the protest action is increasing.

The action participants are chanting: murderer, murderer!

A1+: Hayk Alumyan: I cannot publish it

According to Robert Kocharyan’s lawyer Hayk Alumyan, the accusation against the second president has five pages and cannot be summed up briefly. “I cannot publish it.”

According to Hayk Alumyan, the SIS could not announce that the decision of the Appeal Court is illegal. “It is a pity that the state body considers the court’s decision illegal, the state body makes a statement on behalf of the state and they could say they do not agree.”

According to him, it is impossible to make predictions about further developments, even one minute before he cannot guess what the court will decide.

A1+: Activists invade hall. Kocharyan’s car leaves (video)

Activists opened the door to the hall by force, despite the bodyguards’ efforts. At the moment, the protesters are hitting the table and chanting: murderers!

“The revolution has already taken place in Armenia, the authorities are trying to impose justice, and citizens as well want to help fulfill that justice. There is no place for injustice in Armenia,” activist Davit Petrosyan says.

According to the video released by Azatutyun, Robert Kocharyan has already left Erebuni Plaza Hotel.

Asbarez: Portantino Honors Homenetmen on its 100th Anniversary at the State Capitol

Senator Anthony Portantino presents proclamation to Homenetmen scouts and Western Regional Executive members on the Senate floor

SACAREMANTO—Senator Anthony J. Portantino on August 9 honored the Homenetmen on its 100th anniversary at the California State Capitol. Leaders and scouts from the Homenetmen were recognized on the floor of the State Senate with a resolution from Portantino who were joined by senators Kevin De León and Scott Wilk. Similar recognition was also conducted on the Assembly floor by Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian.

“I am proud to represent the 25th Senate District which is home to five Homenetmen chapters. For the last century the organization has remained true to its motto, ‘Elevate Yourself and Others With You’ which has instilled our youth with the importance of civic responsibility as they strive for collective excellence. I am happy to recognize the efforts of the Homenetmen in our communities.” commented Senator Portantino.

Sen. Anthony Portantino with Homenetmen scouts at the California State Senate

The Armenian General Athletic Union and Scouts, also known as Homenetmen was founded in 1918 and is a non-profit organization that has served over 800,000 youth in five continents. The organizations mission is to prepare exemplary law-abiding citizens by providing physical and health education, endowing the mind and the soul with the finest spirit of sportsmanship and understanding of responsibility and honor.

“I am humbled to represent such an amazing youth oriented organization with 100 years of rich history. On behalf of Homenetmen, I am grateful to Senator Portantino and Assemblymember Nazarian for recognizing our century of positive influence on our youth,” concluded Manuel Marselian, Chair of Homenetmen Western Region Executive Committee.

The first chapter in the United States was established in 1968. Since then it has provided the Armenian-American youth with moral, physical and social education, while exposing them to the Armenian culture and heritage. The Homenetmen experience is one of lasting association, altruism, and benevolence. Homenetmen’s motto is a constant reminder of the fundamental object of the organization.

Asbarez: ANCA-WR Interns to Recognized at 2018 ANCA-WR Gala

GLENDALE—During its 2018 Gala, the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region will recognize and honor its 11 interns from the past year who participated in the regional as well as the ANCA Leo Sarkisian Internship programs. The Gala will take place on Sunday, October 7 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

This year’s internship program participants include Erik Adamyan, Lilit Danelyan, Zohrab Tomboulian, Robert Mouradian, Sarkis Kamberian, Aundrea Issakhanian, Nicole Arslanian, Taleen Nazarian, Lilit Bazikyan, Christopher Khachadour, and Lucine Mikhanjian.

In the last year, the ANCA-WR was fortunate to host three summer interns, two spring interns, and three interns in the fall of 2017. In addition, the ANCA-WR sent three interns to participate in the ANCA Leo Sarkisian Internship Program in Washington during the summer.

“When an intern chooses to apply to the internship program, they have chosen the trajectory of growth. While ‘choosing’ to apply to a program is an option, the experience throughout the internship is inevitable progress and professional life skills gained for the near-future,” said ANCA-WR Project Coordinator Lori Sinanian. “Recognizing the interns for the completion of the program, for over the top volunteerism portrayed, means experiencing a celebratory moment together, in the same room, of volunteerism that is reciprocal for oneself and HyeTad.”

Throughout the year, the interns played a significant role in the activities of the ANCA-WR whether it was with the Education Luncheon, elections, the April 24 March For Justice, and the annual gala. A majority of the interns have also continued their involvement and currently serve on our various committees. The interns have also displayed their passion and commitment to the Armenian Cause by remaining involved and playing active roles in their respective communities.

Meet our interns:

Fall 2017 Interns:
Erik Adamyan is a recent graduate from California Polytechnic State University, Pomona (CPP) where he studied History and an employee at City of Glendale’s Community Services and Parks Department. Before transferring to CPP, Adamyan was the President of Glendale Community College’s Armenian Students Association, where he helped organize numerous cultural and educational events for the Armenian and non-Armenian campus community. He was also part of the Glendale Community College’s Men’s soccer program for two years. After taking part in ANCA-WR’s Advocacy Day, he saw at firsthand how effective and powerful political advocacy could be, and quickly became interested in working closely with the ANCA to help promote Armenia and Artsakh related issues and concerns. In his spare time, Adamyan enjoys watching and playing soccer and also spending time with his friends and family.

Lilit Danelyan is currently the Communications Director of the Southern California Armenian Democrats, an organization she got involved in during and after the ANCA-WR internship. She’s currently a student at Glendale Community College. Lilit participated in the ANCA-WR fall session internship because she saw it as an opportunity for her to give back to a community like Glendale that has given so much to her. As an Armenian, she feels that she has inherited the responsibility of carrying the Armenian community and its interests forward and triumphing in the struggle for justice.

Zohrab Tomboulian moved to California in 2015 from Detroit Michigan to further his education after graduating from AGBU Alex and Marie Manoogian School. While he was in Michigan, he was involved in many Armenian organizations such as Homenetmen, AYF Detroit “Kopernik Tandourjian” Chapter, and Hamazkayin. Zohrab is currently attending Glendale Community College and will be attending the University of California Irvine with a major in cognitive science. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree, he plans on attending medical school. In his free time, Zohrab spends time working on starting his non-profit organization, which is to help better the lives of developing nation orphans.

Spring 2018 Interns:
Robert Mouradian, a graduate from Canterbury High School in New Milford, CT, is currently beginning his Junior year at UCLA majoring in Economics after transferring from Glendale Community College. Mouradian was born and raised in Armenia, and eventually moved to Moscow to resume his education. Mouradian was an active member of the Armenian Student Association at GCC. He has served as the Secretary of the Armenian Student Association (ASA) and as the Treasurer. Mouradian has previously interned for Grekko Fruta AE, where he assisted in refining the business plan, and conducted market research for olives. In Armenia, he interned for Prudence Law Firm, where he organized and maintained law libraries, documents and case files.

Sarkis Kamberian is a Glendale High School graduate and recently began his collegiate career as an Information Systems major, for information security, at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). In high school, he was heavily involved in his martial arts program. He is currently an instructor recently at AKMA Burbank and is teaching a variety of students. Kamberian has volunteered with his high school through numerous activities including several clothing drives for Armenia. Kamberian participated in the ANCA-WR internship because he believes that the internship provides an opportunity to become a successful leader while giving back to the Armenian community.

Summer 2018 Interns:
Aundrea Issakhanian is a recent graduate from Fordham University in New York. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Media Studies with a minor in Business Administration. Throughout her time in New York, she continued her involvement in the Armenian community by becoming involved with organizations such as the Armenian Youth Federation New York “Hyortik” Chapter and the Armenian Engineers and Scientists of America. Aundrea plans to continue her studies and attend law school in the near future. She hopes that with her time spent at the ANCA-WR, she will better acclimate herself with the workings of the ANCA, particularly on the different avenues in which the ANCA advocates politically for the Armenian cause. In her spare time, Aundrea enjoys playing basketball, hanging out with friends, and travelling.

Taleen Nazarian is a rising junior at the University of California, Irvine, majoring in Political Science and Social Policy and Public Service. She is actively involved in the Armenian Students’ Association, as the former Cultural Chair and the upcoming All-ASA Representative. She has planned cultural shows, booths, and events on campus, which have helped to increase awareness about the Armenian Genocide as well as her Armenian heritage and culture. Throughout the years, she has developed a very strong tie to her Armenian identity and becoming involved with the ANCA gives her the opportunity to give back to her community and fight for the Armenian cause. She is incredibly passionate about advocating for human and civil rights globally and envisions herself working in government affairs in the future. In her spare time, Taleen enjoys going hiking, going to the beach, and spending time with family.

Nicole Arslanian is currently a sophomore at the University of Southern California where she studies Political Science and is on a pre-law track. She is a member of the Armenian Students’ Association (ASA) and is a part of the USC Society of Women in the Law club. Before attending USC, Nicole attended A.G.B.U Manoogian-Demirdjian School where she was Team Captain of the Girls Varsity Basketball team and ran in the Varsity Cross-Country team. Additionally, she was Vice President of the Student Council and Co-Founder and Secretary of the Defeat Diabetes Club. She is excited to work with the ANCA-WR to ensure Armenian voices are heard and to get more involved within the Armenian community. In her free time, Nicole enjoys to play basketball, spend time with family and friends, and watching movies.

ANCA Leo Sarkisian Interns:
Lilit Bazikyan is a rising junior at the University of California, Berkeley. She was previously involved with the ANCA-Glendale Chapter as an intern and was awarded ANCA-Glendale Youth Activist Award for her exceptional dedication to her community. She will obtain her Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics in 2020. Lilit plans to continue her education by obtaining a Master’s Degree in Economics; using her education and experience, she is hoping to have a positive impact by shaping economic policy.

Christopher Khachadour is a senior at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) majoring in History and Political Science. He is the president of Alpha Epsilon Omega, the Armenian Fraternity at UCI, and has been a member of the Armenian Students’ Association at UCI for the past four years, having previously served as Cultural Director and Vice President. This spring he was granted the OC Trex UCI Armenian Studies Scholarship and awarded a certificate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution by the UCI International Studies Program. Christopher is also a longtime member of the AYF Pasadena “Nigol Touman” Chapter.

Lucine Mikhanjian was raised in Orange County, and is a recent graduate from the University of California, Riverside with a B.A. in Public Policy. After serving as a Student Ambassador for the UCR School of Public Policy, and interning for the Mayor of Riverside, she aspires to a career in public service to help advance Armenia’s standing in the world.

The interns will join the stage with fellow honorees Serj Tankian http://asbarez.com/174163/serj-tankian-to-receive-anca-wr-peoples-champion-award/, Baroness Caroline Cox http://asbarez.com/174018/baroness-cox-to-receive-advocate-for-justice-award-at-anca-wr-gala/ , and the “Architects of Denial” team http://asbarez.com/173839/architects-of-denial-team-to-be-honored-at-2018-anca-wr-gala/ .

Stay tuned for more information on ticket sales and the announcement of additional prestigious honorees. For more information, visit our Facebook page. For any additional questions, email or call 818-500-1918.


Global Accounting Firm Calls for New U.S.-Armenia Tax Treaty

The Armenian branch of Grant Thornton – the world’s sixth largest accounting firm – has called on the U.S. Department of Treasury “to negotiate a mutually-beneficial Double Tax Treaty with the Republic of Armenia”

Business Community Continues to Call for Long Overdue Accord to End Double Taxation of Profits

WASHINGTON—The Armenian branch of Grant Thornton – the world’s sixth largest accounting firm – has called on the U.S. Department of Treasury “to negotiate a mutually-beneficial Double Tax Treaty with the Republic of Armenia,” reported the Armenian National Committee of America.

“The ANCA welcomes Grant Thornton’s full support for a US-Armenia Double Tax Treaty,” remarked ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian. “We look forward to the U.S. Treasury Department engaging with the Republic of Armenia – without delay – to conclude this much-needed accord,” Hamparian added.

Grant Thornton generates annual revenue of over $1.7 billion and employs more than 7,000 employees worldwide. Grant Thornton Armenia consists of over 160 experienced international and local public accountants and auditors, advisers in finance, business and management, as well as tax and legal advisers, working at two offices in Yerevan. They are celebrating their 20th year in Armenia this year.

“In the spirit of the recently negotiated U.S.-Armenia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, which is already producing real dividends, I encourage you to move forward expeditiously with a Double Tax Treaty,” explained Grant Thornton Armenia Managing Partner Gagik Gyulbudaghyan in an August 7th letter to Secretary Mnuchin. “By eliminating the threat of double taxation we would both remove an artificial barrier to American investment and also incentivize businesses from both nations to explore new avenues for cooperation.”

Grant Thornton is the latest in a growing list of U.S. and Armenia firms calling for a new U.S.-Armenia double tax treaty. In September 2017, the ANCA joined with Paul Korian and Peklar Pilavjian, leading U.S. investors in Yerevan’s landmark Marriott hotel, for a series of Capitol Hill and State Department meetings making the case for an updated compact. Internationally renowned Tufenkian Artisan Carpets; Triada Studio, the Armenia-based creator of the Apple Design Award-winning Shadowmatic Game; and PicsArt, the Yerevan and San Francisco based makers of one of the most popular photo-editing, collage and drawing apps, are among the many firms who have been outspoken on the matter.

In February, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, during Congressional testimony before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, agreed – in response to direct questioning by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) – to commit Treasury Department officials to pursue a new U.S.-Armenia Double Tax Treaty. Just days before, Rep. Sherman and Rep David Valadao (R-CA) were joined by over 30 U.S. House members in cosigning a Congressional letter urging Secretary Mnuchin to begin negotiations with Armenia on treaty. Rep. Sherman followed up on his questioning to during a July hearing with Secretary Mnuchin.

A U.S.-Armenia Double Tax Treaty would establish a clear legal framework for investors and individuals that have business activities in both jurisdictions, preventing double taxation and facilitating the expansion of economic relations. It would also help reinforce the friendship of the American and Armenian peoples, anchoring Armenia to the West, and providing Yerevan with greater strategic options and independence in dealing with regional powers.

The U.S. has double tax treaties with many small countries, including Estonia, Jamaica, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, and Slovenia. Armenia has double tax treaties with many advanced countries, including Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, and the United Kingdom.

Protesters Disrupt Kocharian’s News Conference

A group of protesters blocked Robert Kocharian from holding a press conference on August 14

YEREVAN (Azatutyun.am)—A group of protesters burst into a hotel in Yerevan on Tuesday, preventing former President Robert Kocharian from holding a news conference there.

Kocharian was due to meet the press at a conference hall of the Erebuni Plaza hotel one day after Armenia’s Court of Appeals released him from custody and ruled that he cannot be prosecuted for a 2008 post-election crackdown on opposition protesters.

The news conference was disrupted by several dozen mostly young protesters chanting “Robert murderer!” They blamed him for the deaths of eight protesters and two police servicemen during the breakup on March 1-2, 2008 of opposition demonstrations held in the wake of a disputed presidential election.

“We wanted to both disrupt the news conference and show the people’s attitude towards yesterday’s [Court of Appeals] verdict,” said one of the protesters, Karen Tovmasyan. “It’s an obviously illegal verdict.”

“If [Kocharian] has something to say, let him say that in court,” he said.

Kocharian, who ruled Armenia from 1998-2008, was seen leaving the hotel located in downtown Yerevan from a back entrance shortly after the incident. His office was quick to accuse Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of organizing the intrusion to stop Kocharian from speaking up. The intruders mainly included individuals close to Pashinyan, it said in a statement.

The statement said that Kocharian planned to make “important political statements” and “answer many questions” at the press conference.

“Today’s incident seems to bear out growing concerns … that the new authorities do not tolerate dissent and can persecute political opponents, especially those whose political clout and prospects are a cause for serious concern to them,” it charged.

Pashinian appealed to supporters in a Facebook video address aired following the disruption of Kocharian’s press conference. “All individuals who committed crimes against the state and the people will be held accountable,” he declared.

“Rest assured that in Armenia there is no force capable of taking on the people’s power and stopping the victory of the popular revolution,” said Pashinyan. “Whoever tries to stand in our way will end up in the garbage dump of history.”

Kocharian was arrested on July 27 on charges of “overthrowing the constitutional order” after the February 2008 election marred by opposition allegations of fraud. The charges stem from what Armenia’s Special Investigative Service (SIS) calls illegal use of the armed forces against supporters of the main opposition presidential candidate, Levon Ter-Petrossian. Kocharian rejects them as politically motivated.

The 63-year-old ex-president was set free on Monday immediately after the Court of Appeals ruled that the Armenian constitution gives him immunity from prosecution. The SIS condemned the decision as “illegal” and urged state prosecutors to ask the higher Court of Cassation to overturn it.

168: Armenia continues taking all measures for safe return of citizen Karen Ghazaryan from Azerbaijani captivity


Armenia continues taking all possible measures for the safe and quick return of citizen Karen Ghazaryan who is currently in the Azerbaijani captivity still for unknown circumstances, Armenian foreign ministry’s acting spokesperson Anna Naghdalyan told reporters at a briefing on August 14.

“Regarding the case of Karen Ghazaryan, I want to repeat that this issue is in our agenda. Intensive works are underway on this path. We continue taking all possible measures to return our citizen to the homeland safely and as soon as possible”, she said.

168: Prosecutor General’s Office to submit appeal after receiving ruling of Court of Appeals on eliminating Kocharyan’s detention


After receiving the ruling of the Court of Appeals to eliminate the detention of 2nd President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan, the Prosecutor General’s Office will submit an appeal in accordance with it, Vahagn Muradyan, an official of the Prosecutor General’s Office, told the citizens protesting outside the Office.

“We have already issued a statement that we have not received the decision of the Court of Appeals yet. We will receive that decision in one-two days, will discuss it and will submit an appeal in accordance with the issues mentioned in the decision”, Muradyan said.

He added that the Prosecutor General’s Office has expressed its position in the Court of Appeals, and after receiving the decision they will submit an appeal in accordance with it.

Asked whether the Prosecutor General’s Office plans to submit an appeal to the Court of Cassation, Muradyan said yes, but added that they need to get acquainted with it so that to make the appeal in line with it.

He refused to comment on the statement of the Special Investigation Service according to which the Court of Appeals’ decision to release 2nd President Robert Kocharyan is illegal.

168: There is no force in Armenia that will be able to stand before people’s power – PM Pashinyan


Establishment of legality in Armenia has no alternative. Those who committed a crime against the state and the people will be held accountable, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said live on Facebook.

“The people’s power is established in the Republic of Armenia and believe me that there is no force in Armenia that will be able to stand before the people’s power and stop the victory of the people’s revolution. Those who will try to stand on this path will appear in the history dump. And I want to assure that as I have repeatedly stated previously standing before you at the Republic Square, there is no alternative to the establishment of legality in Armenia. All those who committed a crime against the state and the people will be held accountable. There is no alternative to this path, the path to establish legality, all will be held accountable for their actions in accordance with the law”, the PM said.

He added that during this entire process the government led by him feels a similar responsibility before the statehood, people and legality. “We will organize the political process within the powers received by the people and will not pass the boundaries of these powers in any case since we don’t want to replace the illegal actions of others by ours, replace the robbery of others by ours, we don’t want to transfer what has been robbed by others to our pockets, we want to transfer it to the state budget and serve it for the needs of the people and the state. All criminals will be held accountable, any sum robbed from the people will be returned to the people. And there is no alternative to the victory of the peaceful, velvet, democratic revolution, since there is only one owner, one power in Armenia, and that owner is the citizen of the Republic of Armenia”, PM Pashinyan said.

He once again called on citizens to gather at the Republic Square on August 17, at 18:30, to sum up 100 days of the establishment of the citizen’s power and talk about the further victories of the democratic revolution.