Letter to Co-rapporteurs

Mr Georges COLOMBIER, Mr John PRESCOTT

Co-rapporteurs, Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee)

Dear Mr. Colombier,
Dear Mr. Prescott,

On July 1, Nikol Pashinian, editor of the leading Armenian newspaper Haikakan Jamanak (Armenian Times) and one of the leaders of Armenian National Congress turned himself in to the Special Investigation Service (SIS).  Then he was transferred to a prison of the National Security Service.

On July 2, law enforcement authorities requested the court to sanction the pre-trial detention of Mr. Pashinian. It is not the first time that the Armenian authorities ignoring a specific provision of the PACE Resolution 1677, also disregard their own position expressed by the voting in support of the same Resolution. Moreover, by his speech in the Assembly the speaker of the National Assembly of Armenia, in effect, expressed his endorsement of the Resolution adopted just a few minutes prior to his statement.

As you are very well aware, Article 5.3 of the Resolution 1677 states that Armenian authorities should “allow the persons concerned (in hiding) to remain free pending the duration of their trial if they present themselves to the authorities before 31 July 2009.”

During the rally of the Armenian National Congress on July 2 the leaders of the Congress and former political prisoners paid tribute to the work done by international organizations under the leadership of the PACE for the release of almost 30 political prisoners. We also acknowledge your personal efforts in pressing authorities to declare amnesty.

Being committed to recommendations you initiate as co-rapporteurs, we are requesting you to express your position on the disgraceful action of the Armenian authorities.

Best regards,

Georgi Avetisian

Coordinator, Youth Council, Armenian National Congress,

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