"ERNEST VARDANYAN IS A HOSTAGE IN TRANSNISTRIA"
Tamara Shahoyan, the mother of Transdnestria-based Armenian national
journalist Ernest Vardanyan arrested on April 7 on charges of espionage
for Moldova, has sent a letter to the leader of G8 states, asking to
take steps for her son’s release.
In her letter addressed to the leaders of Russia, US, France, Germany,
Great Britain, Japan, Italy and Canada, Shaghoyan says her son is
the hostage of the Transnistrian authorities.
"Ernest Vardanyan’s arrest organized by the Transnistrian authorities
was based on trumped-up charges of espionage and high treason. Being
an independent journalist Ernest could not have known a military,
state or other secrets; he did not work in state bodies," writes Mrs.
The mother says her son had recently been offered a job in the United
Nations and was waiting for his appointment at the UN Washington
"Transnistrian authorities arrested my son near his home in Tiraspol,
in front of his underage children. They filed serious charges against
Ernest and do not provide him with an independent attorney."
On May 11, local TV Companies aired a video footage where Vardanyan
pleads guilty of the crime and says he spied for Moldova. Mrs. Tamara
states the "self-confession was extorted" from Ernest through
blackmail, violence and torture.
Together with the letter, Tamara Shahoyan has sent to G8 leaders
Ernest’s announcement of April 14, where he appealed for help for
his wife and two under-age children, saying Transdniestria National
Security Service employees threaten to "settle a physical score"