Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Pro-opposition youth activist attacked in Yerevan

Arsen Kharatyan, well known activist of pro-opposition Sksela and Hima youth movements, has been attacked today in Yerevan. He is son of Hranush Kharatyan, former head of the Department of National Minorities and Religious Affairs in the Armenian government, who was resigned after government’s violent 1st March crackdown on opposition following disputed presidential elections in Armenia.

According to Arsen Kharatyan, he was waiting near Vernisazh in central Yerevan to meet someone who during telephone calls presented himself as journalist from the “Life” magazine and asked for an interview.

Attackers approached him from behind and started beating him up. Arsen suffered head traumas. He was taken to the hospital, and his condition is reportedly satisfactory now. He already gave evidence to the police.

It is not yet clear whether this attack is connected with Arsen’s political activities, although as in any similar case suspicions will be there unless proved otherwise. However, in an interview with Radio Liberty Arsen Kharatyan directly linked this attack with his political and public activism. Hima youth movement released a statement considering this attack an attempt by the authorities to "create an atmosphere of fear in Armenia and halt the progress of popular movement".

*photo - via RFE/RL


Anonymous said...

Do you know that they have recently started atatckign ombudsman?
Its been two days since from teh morning to evening all kinds of officials are attacking ombudsman for his last report which was released a few weeks ago.
I am not sure why they have started attacking him a few weeks later, but that can be anotehr sign that RK is back since he has openly expressed his negative opinion about Ombudsman in March.
Chief general prosecutives are telling this on TV "Unfortunally we cant execute ombudstman for thsi obviously pro-oposition report".
Just imagine what does that mean!
I hope that one day all these ppl will get EXECUTED and less punishment is NOT acceptable for them.

artmika said...

I know they blast Ombudsman's report but I doubt they used word "execute"; maximum they could have used is "prosecute", although it would have been quite remarkable if they did. They said that Ombudsman did not have the right to comment on certain aspects, which is rediculous, of course, because we are talking here about the major human rights crisis in Armenia.

Do not forget that when Ombudsman released his report some opposition representatives speculated that he is playing authorities' game... Apparently, they were wrong?

Also, yes, there are lots of behind of scene things going on now in Yerevan, most noteworthy of which is sacking by Serj two pro-Kocharyan influential individuals - chief of the Armenian police Hayk Harutyunyan and head of security agency Grisha Sarkisyan. But this is off topic.

artmika said...


On May 28, 2008, Arsen Kharatyan, an activist of "Sksela" and "Hima" youth movements was brutally beaten by unidentified assailants. Violence against the young public figure and numerous instances of gross violation of human rights prior to it do not witness of the authorities’ willingness to overcome the gap between the government and society, as it was declared by them. On the contrary, they prove the lack of such will in reality, which increases mistrust toward the authorities.

We condemn such actions and declare that any attempt to silence the voice of the people and to create an atmosphere of fear intensifies public resentment toward and dissatisfaction with the current administration.

We urge to ensure impartial examination of the incident and to punish the criminals and those who "ordered" it.

Transparency International Anti-corruption Center
Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Vanadzor Office
"Huys" NGO
Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Armenian Committee
Lawyers for Human Rights
Rights and Freedom Center
"Asparez" Journalists' Club
"Zartonk-89" NGO
"The Soldier’s Protection Committee" Initiative Group
National Citizens' Initiative
Youth for Democracy
"Mijnaberd" NGO
Foundation against Violation of Law
May 29, 2008