The Ombudsman Of Georgia Visited Wounded Karen Baloyan

13:35 13/03/06

On 11th of March representatives of the Ombudsman of Georgia together
with the leaders of ACCG visited the Aramyants hospital #1 of Tbilisi,
where Karen Baloyan was placed after having been attacked on the 9th
of March in Tsalka together with the group of other ethnic Armenian
residents of Georgia.

The Public defender of Georgia Mr. Sozar Subari asked Mr. Baloyan
about his condition and also about the incident in Tsalka. Mr. Karen
Baloyan stated that neither he or any of his friends were acquainted
with the criminals previously.

The Ombudsman´s Assistant Mr. Beka Mindiashvili had visited the scene
of crime in Tsalka and presented his opinion about the crime. Mr. Sozar
Subari offered his assistance to the victim of the attack and expressed
hope for prompt conclusion of the case and a fair punishment of the
criminals involved.

As previously reported, on the 9th of March at about 18:00 an armed
attack on ethnic Armenian residents of in the town of Tsalka of
Georgia took place.

The attack happened in the town centre, after the young men
have just finished their tea in a cafe. Once the boys were about
to get into their car they were suddenly attacked. According to
eye-witness testimonies and also a testimony of one of the victims,
there were about fifteen attackers and many of them were armed with
cold weapons. As a result of stabbing Mr. Gevorg Gevorkyan, 23, was
murdered and Mr. V. Sahakyan, 25, was wounded. Mr. Karen Baloyan,
25, was transferred to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, where 7 hours
after the injury he was placed in the Aramyants city Hospital #1.

Wounded into his left lung, Mr. Baloyan had to travel four hours
on a car on a wrecked motorway to get to the Hospital. In spite of
significant loss of blood and bad injuries his condition today is

Georgia´s Ombudsman conducted press-conference regarding Tsalka
events On the 11th of March a press conference was conducted in public
defender´s office regarding the incident that took place on the 9th of
March as a result of which Mr. Gevorg Gevorgyan was killed and other
ethnic Armenian citizens of Georgia were injured to various degrees.

According to official data, five suspects were detained by the Police
of Georgia and other suspects are searched for.

The incident provoked a mass protest of ethnic Armenian residents
of Javakhk region, which later grew into violence. The demonstration
was dismissed by special security service of the Ministry of Internal
Affairs of Georgia based in other regions of Georgia.

The next day after the collision a group of representatives of the
Public Defender of Georgia arrived in Tsalka.

After having preliminarily studied the case the Ombudsman of Georgia
Mr. Sozar Subari stated that the conflict happened based on ´common´
grounds. Public defender called to let government officials finish
the investigation of Tsalka events without any pressure or hindrance.

Mr. Karen Elchyan, President of the Armenian Centre of Cooperation of
Georgia, has also come out with a statement. He expressed condolences
to the family of the murder victim and presented the official position
of his organization. He stated that there are two different versions
of the motivation of the crime, and one of the versions, namely the
ethnic hatred motivation, is held by the victims of the crime.

Responding to a journalist´s question regarding Javakhk Armenians´
requests of autonomy for Javakhk he noted that such requests are
entirely lawful and are based on the principles of federalism and
territorial integrity of state. Residents of the region, he stated,
are convinced that granting Javakhk autonomy would contribute to
fulfillment of their obligations and rights as of citizens of Georgia.

The Armenian Apostolic Church Diocese of Georgia has also commented
on the events in Tsalka. The Assistant to the Head of the Diocese of
Armenian Apostolic Church, Mr. Levon Isakhanyan supported the position
of Mr. Karen Elchyan regarding the existence of two versions of
motivation of the crime. He added that such crimes are consequence of
anti-Armenian hysteria, launched by the means of Georgian mass-media.

On behalf of the Diocese, he called for the appropriate government
bodies to pay sufficient attention to the problems of the Armenian
Apostolic Church Diocese of Georgia, interethnic relations
and defending rights of the ethnic minorities residing in

–Boundary_(ID_JjW9jn/0mTjLTotsgGRRaA )–