Wednesday, 9 February 2011
The WikiLeaks files - Armenia: Prominent opposition members approached the US embassy about asylum (pre/post- 1 March)
[By: Charge d'Affaires Joseph Pennington]
Prominent members of the opposition have contacted us about asylum and/or the issuance of tourist visas to ride out the crisis in the United States. One of these is Tigran Ter-Petrossian, LTP’s nephew, who LTP lieutenants say is hiding out in the United Arab Emirates fearful for his life. LTP's confidants have asked the Embassy to help with a tourist visa, and insist that Tigran has no intention of applying for political asylum once in the United States. (NOTE: We've explained to LTP's representatives that since we cannot establish the bona fides of Tigran's case, we cannot intervene to issue a visa, and that he would have to apply at our consulate general in Dubai like everyone else.) LTP's son David went to Los Angeles before the election at the urging of his father, again presumably out of concern for his son's life. To our knowledge he has yet to return. (NOTE: While it's difficult to ascertain the validity of these allegations, it is undeniable that violence has plagued the development of Armenia's post-independence political culture.)
*US embassy cables in full.