Thursday, 6 December 2007

Arrested leaflets

"Tax inspectors have confiscated thousands of newly printed leaflets announcing former President Levon Ter-Petrosian’s upcoming rally in Yerevan, it emerged on Thursday. According to Aleksandr Arzumanian, a close Ter-Petrosian associate, an activist of the opposition Aylentrank movement was detained by officials from the State Tax Service (STS) while receiving 4,000 leaflets from a printing house in the capital on Wednesday. He said the activist, Artak Arakelian, was taken into custody on the grounds that he had no documents certifying the origin of the fliers. After keeping him in custody for six hours they fined him 15,000 drams ($50),” Arzumanian told RFE/RL. The STS officials also inspected the Van Arian printing company’s books and briefly detained one of its employees, he said." (Radio Liberty)

Similar crackdown on leaflets with far more serious consequences happened ahead of Ter-Petrosyan second (16 November) rally too:

"Narek Galstian, the 20-year-old leader of the youth wing of a Diaspora-linked pro-Ter-Petrosian party, was hospitalized with serious injuries after being assaulted by unknown individuals in the northern outskirts of Yerevan. The attack two place two days after Galstian and another young activist of the Social Democrat Hnchakian Party (SDHK) were detained by police while posting anti-government leaflets in the city center."

Fear & Oppression in Armenia — Never!

I want to join my voice in solidarity against the atmosphere of fear (posted by Onnik Krikorian) which Armenian authorities are trying to impose ahead of upcoming presidential elections. Today - it's leaflets, tomorrow - it could be something more serious. Actually, 'tomorrow' is partially happening 'today', in a form of tax war with pro-opposition supporters or anyone who could even remotely pose a threat to the authorities or express discontent. This is not Armenia we want to see after 19 February (day of elections).

Here is a photo of ex-President and presidential hopeful Levon Ter-Petrosyan and info on his Saturday rally which apparently seemed so frightening and threatening to authorities that got arrested.

Date: Saturday, December 8, 2007
Time: 3:00pm - 6:00pm
Location: Azatutyun Square
City/Town: Yerevan

At least Onnik can expect (potentially) some sort of protection from British officials as British citizen, although it did not shy away thugs in the past. Independent or pro-opposition media representatives from Armenia - who are citizens of Armenia - cannot expect even such theoretical possibility of protection or support. I am not even mentioning here about media solidarity (regardless of political views and affiliations) which is basically non-existent in Armenia, and is one of the main reasons why Armenian journalists are so vulnerable to attacks.

*photo by Onnik Krikorian / Oneworld Multimedia 2007


artmika said...

for a copy of original leaflet, see

Onnik Krikorian said...

Actually, I don't expect my Embassy to do anything. In 2004 all I got was an email from them asking if I was okay. They ignored every other request for assistance or advice when I had to deal with the charade that was the police investigation. Next to useless is how I will personally describe the British Embassy in Yerevan and this time, if I get involved in any unpleasant business, sure as hell I'm going to make sure they do too or else who them up to be the joke that they are.

Haik said...

The full speech in Armenian will be publish in right after the rally.
All the best.
Levon for president campaign webteam

Aramazd said...

They threw eggs on Nikol today, but this is rather a desperate act on their part. They have brought 4 (!) cameras with them to shoot the march but figured out there was nothing illegal or immoral in the march...

Poor them!

artmika said...

I hope we won't witness eggs turning into more serious weapons as campaign progresses. I mentioned my worries before - that things may turn ugly - and the signs now are not good at all... Too much is at stake.

Onnik Krikorian said...

Update: Not one response or even acknowledgment of my letter to the British Embassy.

Not surprising really.

As some British friends who visited me here in Armenia commented after coming across them, they're a bunch of pompous colonial arseholes.

I can't disagree.

artmika said...

Following British TV, one may have thought that British government through its embassies and other means consider support of British citizens anywhere in the world as something of paramount importance. How deceiving this impression could be! I guess they do it only in selective countries, only in selective cases, only when it suits their political/business agenda...

Shame, realy...