Monday, February 9, 2009

Ashot Manukyan's case to go to Appellate Court on Wednesday

Ashot Manukyan, one of the political prisoners who was sentenced to five years imprisonment for organizing an “illegal” demonstration and allegedly throwing a rock at a policeman’s foot, will have his case heard this Wednesday in Appellate court.
He was offered a way out – in exchange for waiving his Appeal, he would receive a suspended sentence, and then parole. He declined, stating he had committed no crime, and would follow the law.
I hope the best for this case, but fear the worst. Why do they not want him to appeal? And how/why was he given the date for the Appeal so quickly? These make me dubious of any honest or law-abiding intentions the system may have. But maybe I’m being too cynical, I hope so.

From what I remember this was a Criminal Court Case. Which means the Appelate case is in the Criminal Court System, too. See here for the link to the website. Unfortunately, the contact information for the Criminal Court Appellate Judges is not listed, but their names and information are listed, in Armenian only, here.

I continue to be, well, repulsed by the fact that some of the ruling political parties pursue recognition of the Armenian Genocide, yet refuse to address, and only keep adding to, the present massive injustices occuring against Armenians in Armenia today.
In fact, as the Opposition is publicizing and planning a Demonstration for March 1 this year, the so-called government is trying to block it, both bureaucratically, and by intimidating people, one by one. As Haykakan Zhamanak reported on February 6th (loosely translated):

Arman Mousinyan of the Armenian National Congress stated that the authorities are trying to make deals with people, if the latter refrained from participating in the public meeting planned for March 1. "There are facts," he said, "that they are offering money to people, and even jobs, in return for not participating in the planned meeting and staying away from activism."
The police are using 'preventive' methods, by which they're trying to convince people not to participate in the public meeting. And, for some days now, representatives of the police are continuing to invite especially members of the People's Party of Armenia (PPA) to "friendly chats." Spokeswoman for the PPA, Ruzan Khachatryan reported that if earlier they (the police) tried to convince their party members not to show activism and refrain from participating in the March 1 meeting orally, now, the authorities are trying to collect promises with signatures.
Mrs. Khatchatryan has mentioned earlier that this is by now a common occurrence for them.
Some days ago, the police tried to invite Samvel Abrahamyan, an activist of the ANC in the Arabkir region to a "friendly chat." Two functionaries of Arabkir went to Abrahamyan's house, but not finding him at home, left their telephone numbers and left a message that their chief wanted to speak with Abrahamyan. The latter did not go because the police had not produced a summons.
Our question of whether such measures might force him to refrain from participating in the upcoming March 1 gathering, Abrahamyan considered simply funny.

As Zourabyan responded (heard on RFE/RL the other day), when asked if they might change the date of the upcoming March 1 planned Demonstration, that would be like asking to change the date of commemoration of April 24.

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