Int’l bodies appeal to Kocharian over attack on rights activist

International bodies appeal to Armenian leader over attack on rights activist

8 Apr 04


The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) and the
Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) urges the Armenian president and
the prosecutor-general to ensure a prompt, thorough and transparent
investigation into the brutal physical attack on Chairman of the
Armenian Helsinki Association Mikael Daniyelyan, and to bring the
perpetrators to justice, said a letter addressed to Armenian President
Robert Kocharyan and Prosecutor-General Agvan Ovsepyan.

As Arminfo news agency has learned from the Armenian Helsinki
Association, the message noted that the attackers might be connected
with state structures. It is important that the investigation into
the case is carried out by the prosecutor-general who is in a
privileged position to conduct all the necessary questioning of
representatives of power structures, the letter said. “We are calling
on you to ensure that the principles of the UN Declaration on Human
Rights Defenders are observed in Armenia and that proper measures are
taken to prevent further attacks on human rights defenders,” the
letter noted.

The heads of the IHF and NHC noted that there had not been conducted a
thorough forensic medical examination. This kind of examination should
have been conducted as soon as possible. Initially, doctors diagnosed
a brain concussion, but later they changed their diagnosis to “high
blood pressure”. If the investigation does not result in bringing
criminal charges against those responsible for this crime, then the
European community will be informed that the attacks on the dissident
were left unpunished. The authors of the letter addressed to the
Armenian president and the prosecutor-general recalled other cases of
violence against journalists Mark Grigoryan and Mger
Galeschyan. Investigations into these incidents have been suspended.

“We hope that such cases will not be repeated, as it happened with the
attack on Mikael Daniyelyan,” the letter noted.