US citizen detained in Yerevan, accused of subversive actions

April 24 2004

US citizen detained in Yerevan, accused of subversive actions

YEREVAN, April 24 (Itar-Tass) — The Armenian Prosecutor General’s
Office has questioned and detained a former resident of Yerevan,
currently U.S. citizen Artur Vartanian, who `took an active part in
opposition rallies in Yerevan and actions aimed at the forcible
seizure of power,’ the Prosecutor-General’s Office public relations
office chief Gurgen Ambarian has said.

According to the Prosecutor General’s Office the investigators have
found that Artur Vartanian has been permanently resident in the
United States since 1991 and has had U.S. citizenship since 2002.

Although he is a citizen of a different country, Vartanian retained
his Armenian passport and used the rights of an Armenian citizen and
repeatedly crossed Armenia’s state border and participated in
political and electoral processes.

His latest arrival was registered on April 11. Vartanian has since
participated in opposition rallies and actions aimed at the forcible
seizure of power.

Last Thursday Vartanian was detained and charged under two articles
of the criminal code – actions aimed at the forcible seizure of power
and illegal crossing of the state border.

The Armenian Prosecutor-General’s Office has briefed the Foreign
Ministry on the incident. Under the Constitution Armenian citizens
cannot have the citizenship of another country.

`The investigation department of the Prosecutor-General’s Office is
continuing a preliminary probe into the criminal case opened over the
instances of public calls and actions aimed at changing the
constitutional and state system and also public insults against the
authorities,’ the Prosecutor-General’s Office said.

There has been no response from the U.S. embassy to the arrest of
Vartanian yet.

The Opposition says the police has searched the flat of Vartanian’s
friend in Yerevan where the man was staying as a guest.

Nothing illegal was found.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS