Attorney Neglected Immigrant’s BIA Appeal

Connecticut Law Tribune
March 22, 2004

Vol. 10; No. 10; Pg. 372

Attorney NeglectedImmigrant’s BIA Appeal
Keshishyan v. Burrier;
STATEWIDE GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE

CASE-INFO: 8 pages. Statewide Grievance Committee [Doc. No. 02-0037]

In May 2001, Bardukh Keshishyan, the complainant, hired Attorney
Walter Burrier to represent him in the appeal of a decision by the
Board of Immigration Appeals, which denied his application for
political asylum from Armenia. Keshishyan claimed he faced
persecution and death if forced to return. Burrier accepted a $135
retainer, but didn’t file the appeal on his client’s behalf. When
Keshishyan discovered, one year later, in May 2002, that there wasn’t
a pending appeal with the BIA, he spoke with Burrier, who admitted
that he forgot about Keshishyan’s case. After reviewing the file,
Burrier told Keshishyan that the deadline for filing the appeal had
expired and refunded the retainer. In a written response to the
Statewide Grievance Committee complaint, Burrier attributed the error
to his heavy workload and to a mistake by his office employee. The
SGC found, by clear and convincing evidence, that Burrier didn’t
provide competent representation, in violation of Rule 1.1. Although
Burrier blamed his office employee, keeping track of the appeal was
his responsibility, especially in this instance, where he had only
three weeks from the first meeting with Keshishyan to file a timely
appeal. Burrier admitted that he forgot about Keshishyan’s case. It
was essential for him to act with diligence and promptness. His
failure to do so violated Rule 1.3. Burrier previously was
reprimanded three times, and the SGC ordered that he be presented to
the Superior Court for discipline.

Q&A: the oldest business in the United States

Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee)
March 24, 2004 Wednesday

Question & answer

Q: What is the oldest business in the United States?

A: The prize goes to Zildjian, the world’s No. 1 maker of cymbals. In
1623, in Constantinople, Turkey, an Armenian alchemist named Avedis
created an alloy for making cymbals of extraordinary clarity and
power. A sultan gave him the name “Zildjian,” meaning cymbalsmith. In
1929, the company he founded moved to America, where they set up a
new foundry in Quincy, Mass. Zildjian celebrated its 380th
Anniversary last year. Craigie Zildjian is the company’s current —
and first female — CEO.

Submitted by Janoyan Ana

Turkish MP urges Armenians to develop ties

Turkish MP urges Armenians to develop ties

Arminfo
25 Mar 04

YEREVAN

The Turkish people have no bias towards the Armenians and historical
problems should be frozen. We should do our best to develop bilateral
relations, Turkish Republican People’s Party Deputy Yasar Nuri Ozturk,
has told Armenian Kentron TV.

He said that if the Russian military base is on Armenian territory to
avert a danger from the Turkish side, then this is a mistaken view as
Turkey is a peaceloving country which respects both its own and other
countries’ territorial integrity. It is wrong to build neighbourly
relations on the basis of fear and on ways of eliminating it,
especially in modern times when nothing can be achieved in a military
way.

I would like to stress that Turkey is a country which lay no claim to
other countries’ territory, the Turkish MP said, adding that the
principle of Turkey’s foreign policy is peace. By signing many
international treaties, Turkey assumed certain commitments.

Ozturk noted that Turkish Foreign Ministry officials are making
efforts to normalize relations between Turkey and Armenia and
following the last elections, the country entered the new stage of
intensive reforms. He said that Turkey’s foreign policy was based on
sincerity and top officials had visited over 60 countries after the
elections.

“I think they will visit Armenia as well and we should do our best to
make it happen,” he said.

Armenian environmentalists protest against “illegal” construction

Armenian environmentalists protest against “illegal” construction

Arminfo
27 Mar 04

YEREVAN

The mayor’s office has called on the police to ban a picket to protest
against illegal construction in Yerevan’s green areas. The picket,
however, took place on 27 March despite the presence of more than 20
policemen in uniform and in civilian clothes who avoided being filmed.

The organizer of the picket and leader of the Armenian social and
ecological party, Armen Dovlatyan, said that Yerevan would become a
desert if the illegal construction were to go on.

Representatives of NGOs, the faculty of botany of the Yerevan State
University, the institute of zoology and the institute of botany of
the Armenian botanical society, the academy of ecology and other
organizations took part in the picket.

Passage omitted: background details

Armenian opposition official says attack on him politically motivate

Armenian opposition official says attack on him politically motivated

Noyan Tapan news agency
25 Mar 04

YEREVAN

The secretary of the opposition Justice faction, Viktor Dallakyan, was
attacked on 23 March. Dallakyan said that three unidentified people
attacked him at about 2240 1840 gmt , and as a result he was
injured. The attackers took his leather coat with his deputy mandate,
keys and diary in the pocket.

“I am an active participant in opposition activities and it is
absolutely obvious that the incident had political grounds,” Dallakyan
said. He expressed his confidence that the authorities would not be
able to undermine the opposition by such attacks.

“The authorities should understand that by throwing eggs or attacking
people in the dark they cannot stop the process which has started in
Armenia: change of power is inevitable as all the people demand this.”

Dallakyan did not rule out that the authorities could take unexpected
steps and added that the opposition was ready for any
developments. Commenting on Defence Minister Serzh Sarkisyan’s
statements that the army was entitled to ensure internal order,
Dallakyan said: “I would like to tell the minister that under Point 13
Article 55 of the Constitution, the army can be used only in case of a
war or external threat.”

ANKARA: Turkish Ruling Party Bolsters Strength in Municipal Polls

Turkish Ruling Party Bolsters Strength in Municipal Polls

Amberin Zaman
Ankara
28 Mar 2004, 22:04 UTC

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party bolstered its strength
in nationwide municipal polls Sunday capturing some 40 percent of the
vote. The outcome is a ringing endorsement of the conservative party’s
drive to accelerate Turkey’s membership of the European Union and of
its aggressive economic reforms. The Justice and Development Party,
or AKP retained control of key cities, including the capital Ankara,
and the country’s largest city, Istanbul, while registering gains in
regions long dominated by left-wing groups.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey had “voted once again
for stability and progress.”

The main opposition pro-secular Republican People’s Party trailed well
behind with about 20 percent of the vote.

Formed by a group of former Islamists three years ago, the AKP swept
to power in November 2002 parliamentary polls with 34 percent of the
vote, giving Turkey its first single party government in 15 years.

Analysts say poll results reflect the huge success of thousands of AKP
run municipalities.

Unlike their pro-secular rivals, AKP mayors have been largely
untainted by corruption and have catered to the needs of the urban
poor, providing free food and fuel for thousands of shanty town
dwellers. Mr. Erdogan, himself, rose to national prominence in the
1990’s as the mayor of Istanbul, who brought water to the drought
stricken city of 10 million.

Fears that the party might steer the country away from the pro-Western
and secular policies introduced by the founder of modern Turkey, Kemal
Ataturk,have proven empty so far.

In a further bid to quell such concerns, Mr. Erdogan did not field any
female candidates, who wear the Islamic style headscarf in Sunday’s
polls. And in a gesture to non-Muslim Turks, the AKP ran three ethnic
Armenians for smaller municipal districts in Istanbul.

At the national level, the AKP dominated parliament has pushed through
a raft of reforms designed to help Turkey open membership talks with
the EU, among them measures to ease bans on the Kurdish language and
stiffening penaltiesfor torture. The changes may have helped the AKP
snatch mayoral seats in five major predominantly Kurdish cities held
by the country’s largest pro-Kurdish group, the Democratic People’s
Party, or Dehap.

Opposition Rally In Gyumri Disrupted By Violence, Arrests

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
Sunday 28 March 2004

Opposition Rally In Gyumri Disrupted By Violence, Arrests

By Emil Danielyan in Gyumri

An anti-government rally in Gyumri on Sunday was effectively disrupted by
violence and arrests of opposition activists in a further ominous sign of
serious unrest awaiting Armenia.

The demonstration organized by the Artarutyun alliance degenerated into
scuffles between opposition supporters and a handful of other people who
denounced President Robert Kocharian’s foes. A resulting fistfight ended
with four Artarutyun activists in police custody, forcing the organizers to
cut short the protest to try to negotiate their release.

Stepan Demirchian and other leaders of the bloc blamed the “provocation” on
the local authorities and the central government and vowed to continue their
growing attack against the ruling regime.

“Today we are witnessing the agony of this regime,” an uncharacteristically
furious Demirchian told the crowd of more than a thousand people. “The
Armenian people can not tolerate the rule of such thugs.”

The trouble began minutes after the start of the rally when a group of
women, whom many in the crowd described as “prostitutes,” raised banners
slamming the opposition and voicing support for Kocharian. They were
immediately surrounded and jostled by angry opposition supporters trying to
tear up the banners.

The scuffles unfolded to a backdrop of firecracker explosions that were
apparently set off by other government supporters hidden in the crowd. The
noise intensified during Demirchian’s speech, resembling automatic gunfire.
Also, eggs were hurled to the podium from which the organizers addressed the
protesters. One egg hit an opposition lawmaker.

The opposition leaders, struggling to calm tempers, faced a more serious
disruption when electricity powering their loud-speakers was cut off.
Although the power supply was restored 20 minutes later, tension rose
further as a brawl broke out between some opposition activists and a man who
apparently tried to approach Demirchian.

Four of them, including Artarutyun leader Albert Bazeyan’s driver, were then
overpowered and driven away by police officers dressed in plainclothes.
Police said later that the man beaten by the oppositionists was also a
policeman, raising the question of why the security official tried to
interfere with the rally.

The organizers say the local authorities informed them in advance that they
“can not guarantee the security” of the gathering because of staff
shortages. However, the presence of plainclothes police called this
explanation into question.

“It shows that the provocation was organized by the authorities and they
will be held accountable with all the strictness of the law,” charged
another prominent member of the bloc, Victor Dallakian. “It also shows that
Robert Kocharian is pinning his hopes on prostitutes and egg-throwers.”

Dallakian and Bazeyan later met with the police chiefs of Gyumri and the
broader Shirak region to demand the release of their supporters. The lengthy
talks yielded no results as of late evening, with the police chiefs
insisting that the latter be punished for assaulting a law-enforcement
official. The opposition leaders countered that the alleged victim did not
wear a uniform and was trying to disrupt a peaceful demonstration.

“Instead of taking measures to arrest those individuals who provoked all of
this, they punish the opposite side,” Bazeyan complained. “If they want to
open criminal cases, they must primarily target us, the organizers of the
rally.”

Bazeyan said the violent incident, the worst since opposition rallies in the
run-up to last year’s presidential election, will not deter the opposition
from launching its campaign of street protests outside the main government
buildings in Yerevan. Dallakian mentioned April 12 as the most likely date
for its start.

Artarutyun was given a major boost last week when another major opposition
group, the National Unity Party of Artashes Geghamian, decided to join the
onslaught. Demirchian stressed this fact in his speech.

The government, for its part, has warned that any attempts at an
“unconstitutional” overthrow of Kocharian. The Armenian leader, still
reeling from his controversial reelection in the 2003 poll, has recently
reshuffled his security apparatus in preparation for the opposition
challenge.

Georgian president’s envoy promises solution to Armenians’ problems

Georgian president’s envoy promises solution to Armenians’ problems

Arminfo, Yerevan
26 Mar 04

AKHALTSIKHE

The plenipotentiary of the Georgian president in the [predominantly
Armenian] Samtskhe-Javakheti Region of Georgia, Nikoloz
Nikolozashvili, has met representatives of voluntary organizations
from the Akhaltsikhe area.

At the beginning of the meeting the representatives of the voluntary
organizations underlined the need to attract professionals of Armenian
descent to the creation of a political cadre, to the repair of roads
to ethnic Armenian villages, and also to the allotment of grants by
international structures to Armenian organizations, Arminfo
informed. Nikoloz Nikolozashvili promised to do his utmost to find a
solution to the problems raised.

Armenian opposition blocs unite to fight “illegitimate” authorities

Armenian opposition blocs unite to fight “illegitimate” authorities

Arminfo
26 Mar 04

YEREVAN

Two Armenian opposition forces – the Justice bloc and the National
Unity Party have agreed to consolidate their efforts in the struggle
against the country’s authorities.

These two political forces yesterday [24 March] signed a cooperation
agreement, which, in particular, noted that the Justice bloc and the
National Unity Party are taking on responsibility to head the national
movement in the struggle with the “illegitimate” authorities of
Armenia and to establish a constitutional government.

To that end, the sides agreed to jointly organize “a nationwide
demonstration of disobedience” not later than 13 April. “We confirm
our determination to struggle till the change of power in Armenia,”
the agreement said. The date of the demonstration will be declared on
5 April. The Justice bloc and the National Unity Party will make a
joint statement today.