Georgian Armenians Protest At Arrest Of Activist In Yerevan


Regnum, Russia
Oct 14 2006

The democratic alliance United Javakhk [Georgia’s Armenian-populated
Samtskhe-Javakheti region] reports that a member of the alliance’s
board, Vaagn Chakhalyan, who on 10 October was subjected to a brutal
attack when entering Yerevan and received serious body injuries, was
arrested the next day by employees of the Armenian National Security
Service (NSC).

A statement issued by the alliance says: "Introducing themselves
as members of the police department, they tricked Vaagn Chakhalyan
into coming to the police station as a victim, but then took him to a
National Security Service isolation cell and arrested him. Ridiculous
charges were levelled against him about illegally crossing the Armenian
state border. On 13 October, with the same ridiculous charge, the
court of the first instance of the Yerevan communities of Tsentr and
Nork-Marash gave permission to sentence Vaagn Chakhalyan to two-months’
preventive detention."

"It is especially outrageous that instead of investigating the violence
meted out against Vaagn Chakhalyan, members of his family and a member
of the alliance, Gurgen Shirinyan, fabricated accusations are being
made against the victim. This incident is clear testimony to a direct
link between the violence committed against Vaagn Chakhalyan and his
subsequent arrest, as well as the fact that certain forces issued an
order. The people of Javakhk are extremely angry about the news from
Yerevan. The United Javakhk is concerned that subsequent events could
lead to dangerous and unpredictable developments.

"Vaagn’s absence and further consistent attempts to disband the
alliance by brutal methods are a severe blow to the present system
which is ensuring stability in Javakhk, in which the United Javakhk,
thanks to the universal support of the population, is playing a
decisive role. Well-known forces and criminal channels are striving
to ensure a monopoly on demonstrations on behalf of the Armenians
of Javakhk, and by their irresponsible and provocative actions are
creating a serious threat to stability in the region.

"The alliance hopes that all interested forces, and the Armenian
authorities in particular, will adopt a more sensible decision
in relation to these forces who can lead to a destabilization
of the region and cause serious damage to Armenian-Georgian
interstate relations," a statement of the political force from the
Armenian-populated region of Georgia, Samtskhe-Javakheti, says.

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