According To Larisa Alaverdian, Political Pursuits Have Begun Since

ACCORDING TO LARISA ALAVERDIAN, POLITICAL PURSUITS HAVE BEGUN SINCE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA BECAME INDEPENDENT

Noyan Tapan
Jul 13 2007

YEREVAN, JULY 13, NOYAN TAPAN. The existence of political prisoners
has become a tradition for Armenia and in case of the absence of
counteraction by society this problem can get bigger and bigger like
a snowball. This point of view was expressed during the discussion
on the subject "The problem of political prisoners in the Republic
of Armenia", which was organized on July 12 by the Civil National
Initiative.

According to Larisa Alaverdian, the RA defender of human rights,
political pursuits have begun neither today and nor under the
current regime, but immediately after the Republic of Armenia became
independent. The criticism of the authorities and the disagreement
with them, according to Larisa Alaverdian, are currently becoming
not only criticised phenomena, but are also classed as crimes. This
phenomenon resembles the Soviet years, when the political activities
of dissidents were given a criminal colouring.

Among the current political prisoners Larisa Alaverdian mentioned the
name of Jirayr Sefilian, the coordinator of the non-governmental civil
initiative "In defence of liberated territories", Vardan Malkhasian,
Vahan Aroyan, as well as Aleksandre Arzumanian, the former Minister
of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, who are imprisoned
on the charge of the same case filed against Jirayr Sefilian. This
fact is considered to be political pursuit and the above-mentioned
people are classed as political prisoners by the standards of the
"Amnesty International" international lawyers’ organization.

Vahe Grigorian, the defender of Jirayr Sefilian, mentioned that the
uncertainty of the conception "calls" becomes a basis for groundless
approaches, that is to say, a selective opinion is considered to be
a call.

That is why, according to him, the defensive side intends to submit
an application to the Constitutional Court concerning the issue of
the conformity of this mentioned article with Constitution.

Mikayel Danielian, the Chairman of the Helsinki Associasion, declared
that at present there are more political prisoners than those four:
currently 75 followers of Jehova’s Witnesses are under arrest.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS