National Press Club Condemns Journalists Persecution

A1 Plus | 16:10:43 | 13-04-2004 | Politics |


National Press Club reacted angrily to the last night violence by issuing a

The club members protest mass arrests and brutality. National Assembly
members were arrested, foreign and local journalists were brutally beaten
and their cameras were snatched in a bid to prevent them from highlighting
the events, the statement says.

“We once again called on Robert Kocharyan and ruling coalition parties to
stop violence and respect opposite opinions”, National Press Club’s members
said in their statement.

They also urged all those appreciating freedom to unite in order to protect
democracy in Armenia.

Robert Kocharyan Receives Vladimir Pryakhin

A1 Plus | 16:58:11 | 13-04-2004 | Official |


President Kocharyan received the head of the OSCE Yerevan’s Office Vladimir

Projects being implemented in Armenia were discussed at the meeting.
Political situation in the republic was discussed as well. Mr. Pryakhin
expressed his concern over growing political tension and said constitutional
law should be maintained in Armenia.

Antelias: Washing of the Feet

Catholicosate of Cilicia
Communication and Information Department
Tel: (04) 410001, 410003
Fax: (04) 419724
E- mail: [email protected]

PO Box 70 317

The Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist,
the Washing of the Feet
and prayers of Lamentation in Antelias

Antelias, Lebanon – His Holiness Aram I presided over three church services
on Thursday, 8 April 2004. The Armenian faithful came from Lebanon and
elsewhere to join Antelias in its prayers and to receive His Holiness’

In the morning, the ceremony of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist was
conducted, in memory of the Last Supper of Christ and His disciples.

In the afternoon, His Holiness celebrated the ceremony of the Pediluvium by
washing the feet of 12 seminarians and reverends. This liturgical ritual
follows the model set by Christ when He washed the feet of His disciples. It
symbolizes the lesson of humility that Christ conveyed to us through this
act. In his sermon, His Holiness pointed out the importance of humility,
through our personal life, as a source of love and respect, and made a call
for love and solidarity.

At night, the members of the Brotherhood, the seminarians and the laity
(predominantly young people) gathered in the Cathedral and the courtyard of
the Catholicosate for the Vigil of the Lamentation.


View printable pictures here:


The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia is one of the two Catholicosates of
the Armenian Orthodox Church. For detailed information about the
jurisdiction and the Christian Education activities in both the
Catholicosate and the dioceses, you may refer to the web page of the
Catholicosate, The Cilician Catholicosate, the
administrative center of the church is located in Antelias, Lebanon.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Azeri leader urges Turkey to stand firm on Armenia

Azeri leader urges Turkey to stand firm on Armenia
ANKARA, April 13 (Reuters) – Azerbaijan expects Turkey to
keep its border with Armenia closed as long as a long-running
dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region remains unresolved, the
Azeri leader said in an interview published on Tuesday.
Azeri President Ilham Aliyev begins a state visit to Turkey,
an old ally, later on Tuesday as Ankara comes under pressure
from some officials in the United States and the European Union
to lift its trade blockade of tiny, landlocked Armenia.
Turkey has no diplomatic relations with Armenia because the
Christian ex-Soviet republic occupies Karabakh, a territory
populated by ethnic Armenians but assigned to Turkic-speaking,
mainly-Muslim Azerbaijan in Soviet times.
“Some big powers may try to achieve their interests by
putting pressure (on Turkey over opening its border),” Aliyev
told the Turkish daily Zaman. “Turkey is a big country. We
believe it will not give in to this pressure.”
About 35,000 people died in six years of fighting over
Karabakh which ended in a 1994 ceasefire. A decade of diplomatic
efforts by the United States, France and Russia to end the
deadlock have so far failed.
Turkey hopes soon to open talks on joining the EU.
There had been speculation of a thaw in Azeri-Armenian ties
after the death last December of Aliyev’s father Haydar Aliyev,
who had dominated Azeri politics for three decades.
But Ilham Aliyev, elected president last October, signalled
there would be no change in his Karabakh policy.
“We want the occupying Armenians to give back our lands
unconditionally. Then we can negotiate on the status of
Karabakh,” Aliyev told Zaman.
He added Azerbaijan would never accept Armenian demands for
Karabakh’s union with Armenia or for independence from Baku.
As well as international pressure, Ankara has faced lobbying
from Turkish business interests keen to trade freely with
Armenia. But Turkish diplomats say Ankara will not act without
the agreement of Azerbaijan.
Apart from close linguistic and cultural ties, Turkey and
Azerbaijan will be linked in the near future by an oil pipeline
pumping crude from the Caspian Sea to the Turkish Mediterranean
port of Ceyhan.
The 1,760-km (1,100 mile) Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, built by an
international consortium and strongly backed by the United
States, is worth around $3 billion.
“More than half of the oil pipeline has now been completed,”
Aliyev said, adding work was also progressing well on a natural
gas pipeline from the Caspian to Turkey and Greece.
Aliyev will meet Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime
Minister Tayyip Erdogan and other senior officials during his
three-day visit.

Reut05:06 04-13-04

Antelias: Good Friday

Catholicosate of Cilicia
Communication and Information Department
Tel: (04) 410001, 410003
Fax: (04) 419724
E- mail: [email protected]

PO Box 70 317



Antelias, Lebanon – On Good Friday, in the Cathedral of St. Gregory the
Illuminator, His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, commemorated the funeral of
Jesus. His Holiness and the members of the brotherhood remained on their
knees throughout the service. The flower-covered coffin, symbolizing the
tomb of Jesus, lay in front of the altar. In his message, the Catholicos
explained that the tomb represents a period in the life of Jesus on earth,
and is a reminder of the limitless love that Jesus expressed for humanity.
He also explained that “the empty tomb witnesses Jesus’ Godly power and is
the sign of His Resurrection for those who believe in Him.”

At the end of the ceremony, the faithful kissed the tomb and each one took a
commemorative flower home.


View printable pictures here:


The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia is one of the two Catholicosates of
the Armenian Orthodox Church. For detailed information about the
jurisdiction and the Christian Education activities in both the
Catholicosate and the dioceses, you may refer to the web page of the
Catholicosate, The Cilician Catholicosate, the
administrative center of the church is located in Antelias, Lebanon.

Police Takes Alm Under Control

A1 Plus | 13:45:29 | 13-04-2004 | Politics |


The police surrounded ALM TV Company to bar the opposition activists from
addressing Armenian people and providing them with true information about
what’s going on in the republic.

Antelias: Members of the Cilician Brotherhood

Catholicosate of Cilicia
Communication and Information Department
Tel: (04) 410001, 410003
Fax: (04) 419724
E- mail: [email protected]

PO Box 70 317

Members of the Cilician Brotherhood visit Dioceses worldwide

Antelias, Lebanon – On behalf of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, the
following members of the brotherhood visited the Dioceses during the Holy
Week in order to join the faithful in prayers.

Archbishop Ardavazt Terterian visited the Western Prelacy. Bishop Dirayr
Panossian visited the Diocese of Cyprus. Rev. Keghart Kusbekian visited the
Diocese of Aleppo. Rev. Bartev Gulumian and Rev. Vaghinag Meloyan visited
the Diocese of Tehran.

Each year, as an expression of the existing brotherly love and collaboration
between the hierarchal Sees, and upon the invitation of Archbishop Torkom
Manougian, Patriarch of Jerusalem, and Archbishop Mesrob Moutafian,
Patriarch of Istanbul, members of the Cilician Britherhood visit Istanbul
and Jerusalem. This year, Bishop Nareg Alemezian visited Jerusalem and V.
Rev. Yeghishée Mandjigian visited Istanbul.

During the Holy week the Brotherhood members also visited churches of the
Diocese of Lebanon to deliver sermons.


The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia is one of the two Catholicosates of
the Armenian Orthodox Church. For detailed information about the
jurisdiction and the Christian Education activities in both the
Catholicosate and the dioceses, you may refer to the web page of the
Catholicosate, The Cilician Catholicosate, the
administrative center of the church is located in Antelias, Lebanon.

ANKARA: Tensions w/Armenia figure in Azeri president visit to Turkey

Tensions with Armenia figure in Azeri president’s visit to Turkey


April 12, 2004

A long-standing feud between two former Soviet republics over a
disputed enclave was expected to loom large in talks during a visit to
Turkey by Ilham Aliyev, president of Azerbaijan, starting Tuesday.

Azerbaijan and Turkey are neighbours with a shared Muslim and
linguistic heritage, and Aliyev was expected during his three-day stay
to urge Turkey not to reopen its border with Armenia.

Turkey closed this border in 1993 to help Azerbaijan’s negotiating
position in talks with its neighbour Armenia over the enclave of
Nagorny-Karabakh, situated within Azerbaijan’s borders but largely
populated by Armenians.

Azerbaijan now fears Turkey will reopen the border in order to please
the the European Union, which Turkey wants to join.

The feud sparked war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the early 1990s
when Nagorny-Karabakh seceded from Azeribaijan at the time of the
Soviet Union’s collapse, and the two Soviet Caucasian republics became

The war caused claimed more than 20,000 lives and made refugees of
nearly a million people.

After a ceasefire in 1994, Nagorny-Karabakh came under de facto
Armenian control.

Turkey recognises Armenia but has no diplomatic relations with it,
against a historic background of long-standing mutual bitterness.

Turkey closed its border with Armenia in order to strengthen
Azerbaijan’s hand against Armenia.

But Aliyev, fearing Turkey will reopen it to please the EU, appealed
to Turkey last month, saying: “It’s no secret that the European Union
and other influential countries are pressuring Turkey to reopen its
border with Armenia.

“If that happened, the Nagorny-Karabakh conflict would never be

Several European countries have been calling for years for
normalisation between Turkey and Armenia.

Aliyev is worried about an EU meeting next December to decide whether
membership negotiations with Turkey should begin.

He warned in an interview with a Turkish newspaper that traditionally
warm relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan could deteriorate if the
frontier is reopened.

But he seems confident it will not happen. Azerbaijan holds a strong
card because Turkey is set to play a key role in Azerbaijan’s offshore
oil from the Caspian Sea.

A pipeline, operational from 2005, will ship up to one million barrels
of oil a day from Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, on the Caspian Sea,
through Georgia and Turkey to a tanker terminal at the Turkish
Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.

The Turkish government led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has
adopted a diferent foreign policy from its predecessors, favouring new
openings towards neighbours.

But Nagorny Karabakh is not the only issue poisoning relations with
Turkey’s neighbour Armenia.

Turkey and Armenia remain at loggerheads over what Armenia says was
the genocide of hundreds of thousands of its people by Turks during
World War I.

Armenia says the killing and deportation by the Ottoman Empire between
1915 and 1917 claimed 1.5 million Armenian lives.

Turkey denies genocide, and says only between 250,000 and 500,000 died
as a result of the effects of civil war.

What and whom the Armenian Police protects

Noyan Tapan Highlights #14(516)
12 April 2004

What and whom the Armenian Police protects
By Haroutiun Khachatrian

The opposition parties’ April 9 rally was expected to become the most
prominent event of the last week in Armenia. However, it may well turn out
that the unexpected clashes at the April 5th meeting of Artashes Geghamian
with his supporters will get more attention.

In short, a group of persons started to throw eggs toward Geghamian during
his more than an hour-long speech. The journalists tried to catch those
people by their photo and video cameras, a natural decision, especially
given the fact that egg-throwing, a new ‘element’ in the political processes
of Armenia, was believed to be organized by pro-Kocharian forces to provoke
disorder at opposition meetings. The reporters were attacked by the same (or
maybe other, but linked to them) people. At least four cameras were broken,
including that of the state-owned Public TV. Several reporters, including a
woman, Anna Israelian of Aravot daily, were beaten. Kentron independent TV
was the only one to have managed to save its tape showing several of those
attacked (you can see them on this page).

What is the most alarming is the apparent protection of these assailants by
police. As many witnessed, the police was obviously aware about the presence
of these men (presumably the bodyguards of some business tycoons close to
Kocharian) on the spot. Moreover, police would not interfere even after
those suffered attack applied to them.

There are other facts showing that the Armenian police is not willing to
protect freedom of information. Noyan Tapan has its own experience on that
matter. On October 30, 2000 the tapes of our and other TV companies were
bluntly taken by unknown people, when the cameramen shoot the scene of
arrest of Arkady Vardanian, a Moscow businessman trying then to organize a
popular movement aimed to topple Kocharian. Police officers standing nearby
refused to intervene. One more factor to prove the above mentioned is that
five days of protests (including those of international agencies such as
OSCE) passed before the police initiated a criminal case for “hooliganism”
abou the April 5th events. Meanwhile, one can remain many cases when our
law-enforcing agencies were much quicker in discovering and prosecuting the
people (including innocent ones) if there was a political motivation for

To conclude, the Armenian media community is not strong and united enough to
force the authorities to discover those, responsible for that humiliating
events. So I am not optimistic concerning the prospects of this criminal

Kresty Inmates Receive Easter Eggs, Loaves

Kresty Inmates Receive Easter Eggs, Loaves

By Irina Titova

Tuesday, April 13, 2004 SPTimes

More than 4,000 inmates of Kresty, one of the St. Petersburg’s oldest
and most notorious prisons, received painted Easter eggs and loaves of
Orthodox Easter bread, or kulich, on Sunday.

“The chance to attend an Easter service here, in Kresty, gives great
relief to my soul,” said Alexander, 20, one of about 70 Kresty inmates
allowed to attend the holiday service in the prison’s Alexander Nevsky

Millions of Orthodox believers celebrated Easter on Sunday. Although
the church uses the Julian calendar which usually means religious
festivals are celebrated at a different time to those in the West,
this year the western and Orthodox Easter coincided.

Thousands across Russia went to midnight masses, painted eggs, and
bought or baked themselves kuliches, made from sweet dough with

During the last decade religion, which underwent a revival after the
end of the Soviet Union, has come to prisons. Many of their churches
have reopened and new churches have been built in some.

“I know it’s hard for you to be here,” said Father Alexander, who led
the service at Kresty. “But on this holy day of Easter you should
repent and think of how to improve yourselves and lead a good life.”

The other prisoners, who for security had to stay in their cells,
looked out from their tiny cell windows as Father Alexander passed
along the long corridors performing the traditional Orthodox Easter
procession of the cross, and giving them blessed eggs and bread.

“Christ has risen!” the priest said. “Truly, he has risen!” prisoners
responded, in accordance with Easter customs.

About 4,700 painted eggs and 1,075 kuliches were donated to the prison
by the city’s Armenian community, which traditionally helps the

Father Alexander said that for many of the prisoners an opportunity to
attend an Easter service or just to receive blessed Easter food, was a
real joy.

“It shows them that they are not outcasts and not damned,” he
said. “It’s very important for them to realize that someone cares
about them.”

Yury, an inmate, said he had almost never been to church before he was
jailed, but had since come to regularly attend services in Kresty.

Kresty prisoners are able to attend weekly services in groups limited
to no more than 20 people because of security fears.

Since the number of believers is much greater than those that can be
accommodated inside the prison church, prisoners have to wait their
turn, sometimes for several weeks, said Alexei Gerasimov, a senior
Kresty officer

Father Alexander said the work of a priest in prisons is rather hard.

“It is hard morally because in prisons a priest deals with spiritually
broken people, who are often depressed or skeptical about many things
and don’t want or can’t repent,” he said.

However, he chose the posting himself after once trying to serve in a
women’s prison, and then feeling immense sympathy for inmates, he

Working in Kresty for the last five years he had seen many examples
how the church can help prisoners to improve their lives, he added.

“They get out of their depression, quit smoking, cursing and plans for
revenge.” he said. “And after their release they resume normal lives,
get happily married and have children.”

Kresty, located in the center of St. Petersburg beside the Neva river
was built in 1893 as a prison for solitary confinement. For a long
time it was the biggest prison of its kind in Europe.

Its name means crosses and refers to its design in which two large
buildings are built in the form of a cross.

For many years, Kresty was a symbol of political repression. Prominent
historical figures, including Leon Trotsky and Anna Akhmatova’s son
Lev Gumilyov, were among its inmates.

Today Kresty serves mostly as a detention center where prisoners await
trial, often for years. Built to hold about 1,500 people, Kresty holds
at least four times as many inmates.