Saturday, May 29, 2010

Soon it may be illegal to sit... at all, anywhere in Armenia

UPDATE: On May 29, Vardges Gaspari was taken into police custody (from RFE/RL, Arm. only). I have not yet seen any more information of his further detainment or release, though there were initial assurances by police that he would be released quickly.

With the completion of the underground parking lot under Liberty Square, the Square itself is now open, has been open, for a few days.
And on May 28, a small group of opposition activists, including Vardges Gaspari (known for his sit-ins) and Tigran Arakelyan (both former political prisoners), Vladimir Karapetyan of HAK and others of the HAK youth, chose to express their basic and supposedly 'protected' rights of freedom of speech, expression, and gathering.

But that is not protected in Armenia. And especially not in Liberty Square.

Just how scared must this regime be, that it seems within minutes not only police, but red berets, had swarmed around those sitting, and had starting not only arguing, but grabbing, pushing and shoving those seated and walking around. There are two videos that I've seen (a1plus and rfe/rl).

The number of police and red berets that are present is unbelievable. And the more people sit, the more the police and red berets become agitated, trying to remove them, and even trying to provoke the protesters, with grabbing, twisting and shoving. One segment shows a police officer repeatedly pushing Tigran Arakelyan, whose clearly visible hands are not even near the policeman. When they threaten to arrest Vardges Gaspari, he offers them his wrists - they clearly don't know what to do with that response, and later, he lays down, holding his protest sign to his chest. The police and red berets are unable to actually explain WHY they are trying to remove the protesters, unable to answer what law is being breached by having individuals sit on the ground, except for one time, when a red beret says "because it is an 'action' [political action or act]".

Vladimir Karapetyan points out to one of the police, that one month ago, we gathered, and there were no problems. We gathered, many people, and there was no problem. The policeman is completely confused, and says when? April 6, Karapetyan answers. Which of you [police] were here? Not a single one of you, because you were at home, with your families and children. And everything was normal, calm. Because there were no police. The response: a moment of a befuddled blank look, and then back to... You have to leave this area.... Back to playing the broken record they're ordered to... For those who don't remember, that's when FIDH was in Yerevan, and ended up joining the peaceful protest.

I watched the video, and wondered, where oh where is my Bazaz? I thought maybe he was trying to hide in the shadows, until I paid closer attention. Early in the a1plus segment, Vladimir Karapetyan gets shoved by someone, and then says "Mr. Melkonyan..." And, in fact, it is he, my Bazaz, stomping around like a rooster who has had too much coffee, ordering the removal of this person, shoving that person, yelling at this policeman, grabbing another protester... more stomping, and ordering of more backup ("Get ten people and come over"), and more stomping.

Bazaz, jan, no brown suit (that you were wearing that day), or black, or grey, or even pink, can mask your essence, can hold back your true feelings, so you may as well wear your army fatigues or police uniform. But, if you're going for a new look, may I suggest a pink silk shirt with white cuffs and collar, I hear it is all the rage in Yerevan these days.


Vrej said...

I absolutely support the police in this case. The HAKs are simply provoking and are illegal in their actions. You give 2-3 warnings to hooligans...And then what?

In my books, whoever doesn't understand the power of law, only understands beatings.

Whoever wants to insult my country, my country's president SHOULD be declared persona non grata at that square. Disgusting people.

Tzitzernak if you're brave you don't censor my comment.

tzitzernak2 said...

Vrej jan,
It is not a matter of bravery or cowardice.
Your comment has not insults, slurs, swears, threats, or the like, it therefore is publishable, in my point of view.


tzitzernak2 said...

On another point, I completely disagree with your point of view.

They are not hooligans, they are peaceful protesters.

Sitting or laying in the square is NOT illegal.

No government, regardless of the actions against, has the right to beat its civilians.

Anonymous said...

Vrej jan,
I understand you believe that every one of us has the right to express thoughts.
You are saying that if Tzitzernak is brave your comment will not be censored. May I assume you believe in freedom of speech?
If so, then do you believe there is freedom of speech practiced in Armenia?
Aziz 55.5

Vrej said...

Aziz and Tzitzernak: Who are you kidding? Who are you lying to? These people "sitting down" or "walking" are part of a dirty organization which organized March 1 in Yerevan which looted burnt and killed 2 policemen in Yerevan, in the name of "peaceful" "democratic" gatherings.
You confuse freedom of speech with disturbing the peace of citizens, with hooliganism.

HAK's dirty plan, is to get more people to "sit down" or "walk" to eventually organize another ILLEGAL meeting and another looting and burning of Yerevan.If the police had dealt with these gatherings EXACTLY the same way, back in February 2008, March 1 would have never happened.

You want to express your thoughts? go and ask your Levon to take permission from the city and organize another meeting near Madenataran like he has ridiculously done in the last two years.
Azatutyan hraparak is a place for concerts, for fun activities, not a place to hear your garbage political demagoguery. Do you hear any other political group provoking the police?

I am a fervent believer in freedom of speech I even agree with some of the things HAK suggests. But I and thousands of others are disgusted with them provoking and inciting hatred around them. That's not free speech. That's hooliganism.
I TOTALLY support Armenian police in this case. Enough is enough!

Tsovinar said...

Vrej, why do you distort facts, huh? You know, I am sure you know that burning March 1 was organized by the authorities not the demonstrators. Demonstrators were killed by police and no policemen was accused for that. You know that in HAK was refused more than 100 times to have demonstrations or actions of protest in the city. You know that those 9-10 days permanent actions of protest in the Freedom square were done because they were THE ONLY INDEPENDENT "TV" where the oppositioners could express their views and deliver messages, as all the channels are controlled by the government and give no access to HAK. You know that HAK is the only opposition right now that's why none else tries to do actions in Liberty Square. You know that Liberty Square is exactly for freedom of expression and we started our fight for Karabakh and independence there in Liberty square!!!

Vrej said...

I'll answer you point by point. I am far from distorting the truth. As I said I've carefully followed the events of the last 2.5 years reading such news outlets as a1plus, Haykakan Zhamanak, etc.

It is only a fairytale that the looting and burning were organized by authorities. Levon's thugs organized it and did itled by Sparapet Nikol, Leytenant Alik and the rest of pathetic excuses for homosapiens.
You say HAK was refused 100 times. After the killings of policemen, beatings of policemen , looting and burning on March 1, giving HAK the right to organize a demo is like giving Al Qaeda or Hizbollah the right to organize demonstrations in places where they have KILLED people. I am amazed at the generosity of the authorities to allow HAK demos at the Matenadaran. After their criminal activities they would be BANNED as an organization ANYWHERE else including Europe U.S and Canada.
in those 9-10 days what you did to the Theatre Square was sacrilege of the Karabakh Movement. Shame on LTP!How dare you compare struggle for Karabakh to the theatrical brainwashing show organized for one reason: To create a coup d'etat and grab power in illegal means. As far as not having a TV station , and having followed the above-mentioned TV outlets in the last few years I can honestly say that these are Azeri media presented in Armenian language. When you spread so much hatred, so many lies, you wish so much harm to the country, you should not be on air. Period.
NEVER AGAIN will your criminal intentions work. And those criminals whom you call "political prisoners" let them rot in prison for what they caused to their homeland. Disgusting people.

Tsovinar said...

Vrej, tell me that American authorities were also generous to give freedoms to Blacks after they put on fire the whole Wahsington DC and 10 people were killed (mostly in burning homes, and some by police). by the way, one day you will discover that those two Armenian policemen were killed by policemen to make you and people or policements like you to get mad on demonstrators and kill them without mercy.
Even if they were killed by demonstrators, why there are 14 (were more than 100) arrested oppositioners for two policemen, and none arrested policemen for eight demosntrators? Huh?
Vrej, you sound like an official or a olicement on a high position. I am sorry for your fascism. The only thing I can do is just praying for your poor soul full of hatred and striving more blood. I am sorry for you.

Vrej said...


I pity you that you've been brainwashed by Levon's Witnesses.

For your information:
During the Los Angeles riots in 1992 when just like levonakans in 2008, blacks thought they can get back their rights by looting and burning, there were 10,000 arrests according to LAPD. About 70 deaths. Now you can also use your mathematical genius to ask, well how could 10,000 be arrested for only 70 deaths? Go and ask the Police Department of the biggest city in the most democratic country in the world. No further comment on that. By the way it's not Washington as you claim, it's LA.
Some criminals from the LA riots ARE STILL IN PRISON TODAY. Why? Because they are criminals!

Inciting hatred is a crime punishable by law in any civilized country. Nikol Sasoun and the rest, I hope prison teaches them , that they should NEVER do what they did on March 1. Again, these so called political prisoners are criminals and I'm glad that they're rotting in jail, even though I think they got too short sentences!
Search fascism in your HHSh and in your levonapashtutyun. I am very far from being an oligarch or an official. I simply love my Armenia much more than a levon or a nikol. My Armenia does not include traitors and hooligans.

Tsovinar said...

1. It was Washington DC, 1968, the next day they killed Martin Luther King.
2. Your last sentence proves you bare fascistic ideas. My Armenia includes everyone.
3. You passed by the idea that the Liberty Square was a TV for oppositioners who were fed up by lies of TVs and who had no other chance to receive alternative information.
4. I am sorry you cannot see difference between human rights and politics. You can't see that protecting human rights, one doesn't become a politician. But you play politics yourself.

Vrej said...

1. I did not think you would be crazy enough to compare 1968 to 2008 but then again I won't be surprised that your kind has anashamedly compared 1915 to 2008. I don't know if I should laugh or cry. I believe it is MUCH more proper to compare the L.A. riots to the Yerevan riots. Because they were just that : riots. Illegal and criminal.
2. There is no country in the world which tolerates hooligans or traitors. Both are thrown in jail, in Europe but especially in the U.S. Again, search fascism in yourself. I keep on searching for the rule of law. Hooligans and traitors such as Nikol Sasoon or David Kiremidjian in jail please. Thank you.

3. You make me laugh. No mafia organization has more newspapers in the world than the HHSh. They have the most in Armenia: Should I list? Chorrord Ishxanutyun, 168 zham, Haykakan Zhamanak, Hraparak, Hayq, Zhamanak, the list goes on and on. Please don't lie to us with the pathetic excuse that they had no other chance to receive alternative information (translation: blatant lies).

I know quite well what human rights is and what dirty politics is. There is one sole reason for all this. Levonakans have gotten too hungry since 1998. They need to feed themselves. We will NEVER let you. Not in your wildest dreams. I can assure you that.