VAHAN HOVANISIAN: OUR PEOPLE HAVE SUFFERED THE MOST FROM STALIN REPRESSION
YEREVAN (YERKIR) – National Assembly has recently named June 14th
the Day of Commemoration of the Repressed. The initiative came from
the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.
Dozens gathered on Wednesday at a memorial erected in Yerevan to
mark the day for the first time. The event was organized by an NGO
called Hushamatian and was attended by National Assembly’s ARF faction
members, National Self-determination Union leader Paruyr Hairkian,
people who were victimized by the Stalin regime.
Addressing the gathering, ARF Bureau member and National Assembly
Vice-speaker Vahan Hovanisian said that our entire people have suffered
the most from the repression.
He recalled that the Stalin repressions – followed by those applied
by Lenin – were carried out in waves: first it was the ARF members
who were sent to jails and executed, then those who were called
Trotskyites, then others. And this had been going on until the collapse
of the Soviet Union.
“Unfortunately, the dreadful practice didn’t stop after the Soviet rule
was over, Hovannisian went on saying. “Under the Armenian National
Movement too there were political prisoners. There is none now,
and I am sure there will be none in the future.”
June 14th was chosen to mark that day because it was on June 14,
1949 that mass arrests were made in Armenia without any political
motivation taken into account.
“The goal of the project was to deport Armenians to Altay,” Hovannisian
said. “And this when thousands of Armenians returned to their homeland
hoping the Soviet Union would become a normal country after the
WWII. Most of them were deported to Altay.”
“The only guarantee that such things would not repeat in the future
is a strong and independent Armenia,” Hovannisian concluded.