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Sunday, 1 June 2008

"Freedom for my dad", or Children's Day 2008 in Armenia

Children's Day is celebrated on 1 June each year. It is usually marked with speeches on children's rights and wellbeing, children TV programs, parties, various actions involving or dedicated to children, families going out etc.

On 30 May wives and children of political prisoners in Armenia staged a protest action near Prosecutor General's Office and UN office calling for the release of their husbands and dads. Children of political prisoners delivered a letter to the UNICEF representative in Armenia in connection with Children's Day. "Freedom for my dad" - that was the message of the day. It was staged on 30 May as the above offices do not work during the weekend (1 June - Sunday).

Who would have thought that instead of having fun, watching TV or films, going out to play, some Armenian children would have staged a protest action, with their moms, of course, to demand freedom for their dads, political prisoners in Armenia. It makes me very sad and angry even writing "political prisoner" next to "Armenia", that in the 21st century, in our beloved country we have political prisoners, we have children and wives of political prisoners...

Here is call to our government on Children's Day: Do not bullshit about children's wellbeing or rights today, bring back their dads from prisons. Forget about EU or Armenian opposition, or occasional bloggers who demand it. It's future of Armenia we are talking about. It's children, who does not know much about politics, who can rely only on their pure instincts and their moms. They know one thing: their dads are not with them on their very own day, and it's completely natural and right for them to ask for their freedom, even if with the help of their moms. If I were in the same situation as they are now, I would find no other way to "celebrate" this day but to be out there, to call for freedom for my dad...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

On the other hand it's pretty low to use children in political actions or you're telling me that children came up with the idea to stage this protest?

artmika said...

It's their dads we are talking about here, not an abstract "political action"! My full respect to children and their moms, of course.

proudly anonymous said...

On the other hand it's pretty low to arrest people because of their political views. Everything else should be evaluated through that prism.

That we have political prisoners in Armenia is not up to debate. I don't believe for a moment for example that Alik Arzumanyan is in jail because he "usurped power" (note: not attempted to but did). He is in jail because he supported LTP and that's just one small example.

This isn't a "political action" as you term it. This is a simple demand of freedom for their fathers.

artmika said...

HIMA (pro-opposition youth movement) press release (in Armenian):

ՄԱՄԼՈ ՀԱՂՈՐԴԱԳՐՈՒԹՅՈՒՆ

Հունիսի 1-ին` Երեխաների պաշտպանության միջազգային օրը, մի խումբ երեխաներ քաղբանտարկյալների նկարներով նավակներ բաց թողեցին Կարապի լիճ: Քաղբանտարկյալների երեխաներին միացան ՀԻՄԱ երիտասարդական շարժման մասնակիցներ, ինչպես նաև բազմաթիվ քաղաքացիներ, որոնք այդ օրը երեխաների հետ եկել էին Ազատության հրապարակ: Ակցիայի ավարտին քաղբանտարկյալներից մեկի անչափահաս աղջկան մոտեցան 2 ոստիկան, որոնք ստիպեցին հավաքել նավակները, սակայն քաղբանտարկյալի կին Մելիսա Բրաունի միջամտությամբ տեղի տվեցին և հեռացան: "Սրանք մեր հայրիկների և հարազատների նկարներն են, և մենք այս կերպ են արտահայտում մեր բողոքը նրանց ապօրինաբար ձերբակալելու կապակցությամբ",- ոստիկաններին ասացին երեխաները: Երեխաների հեռանալուց փոքր-ինչ անց նավակները լճից անհետացան: