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.


36+35 are ready to go to prison instead of Arman Babajanyanjan

babajanyanThirty-six youth members of the ANC made the following announcement on July 30, in defense of Arman Babajanyan, chief editor of Zhamanak daily newspaper:
“Arman Babajanyan’s extremely poor health has forced us to announce that we, the undersigned, are ready to take his place in prison for one month, in exchange for his early release.”
The announcement is still open to signatures.

Addendum: On July 31, 35 more young members of the ANC from the United States have joined the petition.

From Haykakan Zhamanak and Azatutyun Radio.

See also the Open Letter from Human Rights Watch to Armenian Prime Minister and Minister of Justice regarding Arman Babajanyan  and the letter of Reporters Without Borders.

Tigran Arakelyan stops hunger strike

Member of the youth wing of the Armenian National Congress (HAK), Tigran Arkelian, taken under custody since July 5, issued a statement.

“I was illegally detained on July 5 on alleged charges of hooliganism. In reality, I was distributing flyers informing about a July 2 opposition rally sanctioned by the Yerevan City Hall.

Just at that moment we were attacked by a group of bandits in plainclothes.

On July 6, I went on a hunger sign in protest of my illegal detention. Later in the day, my friends Karen Karapetian, Narek Aivazian, Sargis Gevorgian, Sargis Khachatrian, Arakel Semirjian, Arayik Mirzoyan and Gor Sargsian joined the hunger strike with a demand to release me.

Taking into consideration the fact that I was detained for two months and being concerned about my friends’ health condition I stop the hunger strike and urge my friends follow my example.

Our struggle is incontestable and our victory inevitable.

We shall win,” runs the statement.

“We shall obtain justice.”

Armenian MP Khachatur Sukiasian issued the following statement today:

Dear compatriots

As you know on March 4, 2008 the National Assembly met the motion of the Prosecutor General and agreed to my arrest under Article 225 (mass disorders accompanied by assassination) and Article 300 (usurpation of state power).

But thanks to some influential structures, in particular to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the authorities had to decriminalize the aforesaid norms which previously enabled them to chase a person for his political stance. Later the authorities declared an amnesty and released my colleagues.

Under the amnesty bill people under search will be amnestied if they turn themselves in by July 31, 2009.

I don’t fear surrender as I have committed no crime.

By reviewing the charged instituted against my friends and me and declaring an amnesty, the authorities reconfirmed that we had been under persecution.

Furthermore, when reviewing the charges brought against me the Prosecutor General was to receive Parliament’s consent according to Article 66 of the Constitution. The consent was necessary in the future, during our groundless arrest. Thus, criminal prosecution was filed against me without depriving me of deputy’s immunity. It means today I can walk freely in my city with no policeman trying to stop me. The National Assembly must not let illegal steps against my personality.

The authorities supposedly ignored PACE Resolution 1677and now long for my detention. I am not a bit concerned over this. I am determined to struggle till the end for the restoration of our people’s rights and freedoms and I am convinced that we shall obtain justice.”

Translation from A1+