Review court denies petition to release leader of nationalist party

Feb 4 2005


YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 4, ARMENPRESS: An Armenian court of review left
unchanged today a petition filed by a marginal Armenian Aryan Union
party that requested release of its leader Armen Avetisian pending
trial. A local first instance court in Yerevan allowed prosecutors in
late January to arrest Avetisian on charges of inciting inter-ethnic
hatred. The arrest followed a newspaper interview in which Avetisian
called for the expulsion of all Jews living in Armenia, saying they
are to blame for Armenians’ vows. The review court said if at large
Avetisian may impede or avoid investigation.
A lawyer for Avetisian accused the review court of making an
unsubstantiated decision citing her client’s clean record, an
apartment in Yerevan and three small children. She also said two
opposition parliament members, Viktor Dalakian and Manuk Gasparian
have also petitioned for his release vouching that he would not leave
the city.
The lawyer argued further that her client’s right to express his
opinion was broken and his detention looks like “a punishment.” She
said she would take Avetisian’s case to the European Human Rights
Court in Strasbourg if fails to achieve justice in Armenia.
Armenian ombudsman Larisa Alaverdian also asked last week
prosecutors to release Avetisian saying charges against him were not
serious enough to require his detention. She argued that
anti-Semitism is non-existent in Armenia.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress