Ombudsman: Ex-President Kocharyan alone in cell, has no complaints

Panorama, Armenia
Feb 11 2019

Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) of Armenia Arman Tatoyan has paid a visit to Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan held in pre-trial custody and is in touch with his attorneys, he said today.

“Mr. Kocharyan is alone in the cell: the cells of Yerevan Penitentiary are small. He has no complaints about the treatment of the penitentiary staff,” the ombudsman told reporters as he was asked to comment on the conditions of the former president’s detention.

Tatoyan also said Kocharyan was not allowed to see his relatives but after their mediation the relatives had an opportunity to meet with Kocharyan.

Asked whether the ex-president can be considered a political prisoner, the ombudsman said he is not authorized to assess the charges brought against the former president.

Kocharyan has been placed in custody since December 7, 2018, pending trial. He is charged with overthrowing Armenia’s constitutional order during the March 1-2, 2008 post-election events in Yerevan. The former president strongly denies any wrongdoing.        

Emil Lazarian

“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