Armenian Police Brutality & Incompetence…

These are videos taken at the regular Friday political walks of opposition youth activists in Yerevan. The police and Red Berets used force against multiple individuals, as can be seen in the video, including punching and kneeing Vahagn Gevorgyan, who was recently released on amnesty, and is the son of one of the editors of Haykakan Zhamanak, Haik Gevorgyan.
Narek Hovakimyan, who was beaten on July 25, 2008 for his political views and activities, was also vocal during this protest. In response to accusations by the police that the youth’s statements were insulting to Sargsyan, he asked a very simple, yet important question. Here is the transcript (starting at 4:58):

“Mister Zurabyan, one minute, Mister policeman, answer me one question…
When I want him to resign, when I find that his policies are wrong, that with his policies he is destroying the Fatherland…
Am I insulting him personally when I yell out, ‘Heratsir’?
I am a 20 year old free citizen of the Republic of Armenia
Please answer my question.
What is it that has insulted him personally?
Have we cursed?
Have we said something about him personally?
All we’ve said is ‘Heratsir’
What is it that is personally insulting in that?”

Not surprisingly, the policeman is completely unable to answer the question. His muffled response is something like, ‘you don’t understand.’

[Heratsir – to leave, in this case to leave office, to resign]



tigran_arakelyanTigran Arakelyan has made an announcement that he is restarting his hunger strike as of September 8th, at 10 am. The following is a summary of his statement:

He notes that he has been in prison since July 5th, and in the prison hospital since July 15th, as he is suffering the effects of having been hit on the head by the butt of a gun by someone in the group which attacked him and the other youth. He has been treated well while in the hospital, but his condition is worsening. It no longer matters to him when his illness will reach a critical point. No investigation has been made of his case, and no reason has been given for the 2 month prolongation of his imprisonment.

He considers himself to be a political hostage, imprisoned solely for his political views. He does not consider the actions against him as personal, but rather as actions against the active youth, and against the people. From the beginning, the authorities hoped they could silence and intimidate the youth. But they were unsuccessful, and it is time they resigned from such methods.

He apologizes to his friends, the members of HAK, and the RoA President Levon Ter-Petrosyan, all of whom tried to persuade him not to go to this extreme form of protest due to his present poor health. However, he is standing by his decision to go on hunger strike.