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
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