[08:49 pm] 14 May, 2008
Today azatamartik Ashot Zakarian has released an open letter to his
brothers-in-arms from the "Vardashen" Penitentiary Institution. The
letter runs in part,
We have won many victories and overcome many obstacles since
1988. We have been guided by patriotism and a wish to live in a free,
independent and democratic country.
Unfortunately, following the events of October 27, 1999, the
authorities seized power and led the country to a collapse. Violations
of human rights, restriction of freedom of expression and mass media,
rigged elections have become common in Armenia. The country has
appeared in ooze. Nevertheless, people’s determination to restore
their rights and dignity has led them to Liberty Square. The Poplular
Movement headed by first President Levon Ter-Petrossian instilled
hope and belief for the future.
Over 100 activists are under arrest following the events of March
1. They are punished for their political dissent.
The trials held in different instances resemble "shows." I strongly
believe that the popular movement will achieve its peak one day. We
shall have the free Armenia we have longed for.
The path we have taken is a difficult and responsible one. And I
emphasize the will-power and physical abilities of each of us. The
way of the struggle you have chosen, hunger-strike, will not receive
adequate feedback by the authorities.
I want to thank you for your determination to struggle to the end. I
urge you to stop the hunger-strike as quickly as possible and to
choose other means of struggle. Take the call as a request.
Ashot R. Zakarian
"Vardashen" Penitentiary Institution