Sargis Hatspanian visited his family members for the first time since he went underground after the events of March 1, however the police surrounded his home 10 minutes later. “I think the only reason for that is because I supported Levon Ter-Petrosian,” told “A1+ Sargis Hatspanian. Police surrounded the house and said that Sargis Hatspanian has an illegal status in Armenia and must be exiled.Here are just few questions need to be asked:
Is there any law in Armenia which prohibits foreign citizens from peaceful participation in political life and actions, or from expressing their political views?
Could this be considered a warning to the Diaspora to stay away from the internal politics of Armenia?
If he got relieved of Armenian residency by a decree or executive order of the former president Kocharyan, why he was allowed to enter the country via Yerevan international airport, without any problems?
Was ex-president Kocharyan’s decree - or whatever it was - lawful, as according to Armenia’s human rights Ombudsman Armen Harutyunyan, a person cannot be deprived of residency (or deported) if he has underage children under his care?
That Kocharian signed a relevant executive order shortly before he left office was confirmed by officials at President Serzh Sarkisian’s administration. Under Armenian law, such orders take effect only after the official notification of individuals affected by them. “I am absolutely not aware of that decision,” insisted Hatspanian. He said he has left and returned to Armenia since March and had no problems with immigration authorities. “I flew back to Yerevan as recently as on the night from October 6 to 7. They told me nothing at the airport,” he said. Armen Harutiunian, Armenia’s human rights ombudsman, said he is dealing with the case and already has questions to the authorities. “His residency permit was revoked by the president but he still managed to re-enter Armenia,” Harutiunian told RFE/RL. “If that is confirmed, we need to clarify how he entered the country without having the right to live there.” Harutiunian added that under Armenian law, the authorities can not kick out Hatspanian because he has underage children in the country.Sadly, as Sarkis put it in his diary (which I posted on Unzipped in the immediate aftermath of 1 March events), “this year spring did not come to Armenia.”
To read full post with Sargis Hatspanian's diary (eyewitness account of 1 March events in Liberty sq) - click here.
Below is a video via A1+. Plainclothed police officers could be seen at the Hatspanian’s apartment door. One of them told RFE/RL that they will stay there “until Mr. Sarkis comes out.”
*photo of Sargis Hatspanian - by Onnik Krikorian/Oneworld Multimedia 2008