Terrorists Took Hovhannisyan Hostage Not As Armenian but a Romanian

Pan Armenian News


37 year-old journalist from Bucharest Edward-Ovidiu Hovhannisyan is the
second Armenian stolen in Iraq.

Certain facts have been cleared up about the disappearance of our
compatriot, citizen of Romania Edward-Ovidiu Hovhannisyan and his two
colleagues. According to the information received on Wednesday, terrorists
demanded from the Romanian government a ransom of 4 million dollars.
However, the main aim of the terrorists is not to earn money but to attract
attention to the intention of Romanian authorities to increase Romanian
military presence in Iraq. The President of Romania Besesku visited Iraq not
long ago. After the trip he made a decision to activate the participation of
his country in the anti-terrorist coalition and to increase the number of
military contingent.

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ No terrorist grouping has claimed the responsibility for
the action. Terrorists act incognito. The demand of the ransom was told to
the ambassador of Iraq in Romania by unknown people. Besides, someone called
a Syrian businessman living in Bucharest and asked him to pass to state
authorities that if the money was not paid during 24 hours the hostages
would be killed. However, official sources deny any information about the
ransom. The video material shown on Thursday on `Al Jazzira’ TV channel
proves that the criminals have no mercantile considerations. The video
cassette with the hostages was in some way passed to the TV channel by the
terrorists themselves. On the recording are the journalists and their Arab
translator, sitting on the floor with gun points on their heads. On the
recording there are also two people in masks. The terrorists do not make any

Like the whole Romanian community, Armenian community of Bucharest is
extremely worried about the destiny of hostages. However, the initiative to
join the Armenian community of Iraq to the searches for the hostages seems
absolutely unacceptable. The excessive activity of the leadership of
Armenian structures may in this case have negative consequences. It is known
that Edward-Ovidiu Hovhannisyan was taken hostage not as an Armenian but as
a citizen of Romania. Moreover, it is quite possible that the terrorists
still do not know about his ethnic origin, since some Romanian surnames
sound like Armenian surnames. Concentration on the ethnic origin of
Hovhannisyan may create problems taking into account the existence of
Armenian peacemakers in Iraq.

Edward-Ovidiu Hovhannisyan is 37 years old. He is a Bucharest born catholic,
working as a political correspondent of `Romania libere’ newspaper. His
sister Ann-Maria Hovhannisyan gave an interview to `Reiter’ agency where she
stated that the leadership of the newspaper does not contact with their
family. She says that his family was against his trip but he did not listen
to them. Hovhannisyan went to Baghdad to interview the premier of the
temporary administration Iyad Alaui. After an hour from the interview he and
his colleagues disappeared. Later someone called to the editorial of
Bucharest `Prima’ TV company, employees of which are also taken hostage. The
voice of one of the hostages was heaðd on the phone. `Don’t kill us. We are
from a poor country; we do not have money…’ Later mother of one of the
employees of `Prima’ received an SMS `We are taken hostage. It is not a

During the past year over 150 foreigners were taken hostage in Iraq. Almost
50 of them were killed because the demands of the terrorists were not
fulfilled. Romanian authorities hope that the three journalists will not
suffer the same fare. President Besesku said that Romanian special services
in cooperation with American and British services have `worked out a line of
conduct that can bring to the solution of the incident’. What is meant under
that line and are there any real hopes? It is still unclear.

31.03.2005, “PanARMENIAN Network” analytical department

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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