Demand to Release Shant Harutyunyan and Possible Developments
In the last few days discussions about releasing Shant Harutyunyan became heated especially after Harutyunyan’s son’s speech. At a September 6 Media Center discussion Artur Sakunts, head of Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor office, Vardan Harutyunyan, head of center of right and freedom and Hovsep Khurshudyan, head of Free Citizen NGO presented their views regarding the issue.

Artur Sakunts says that Shant Harutyunyan was convicted for his political activity and the court resolution was definitely groundless.  

“The proofs were based on police evidence. According to EC summit resolutions charges based solely on police evidence should be suspected about. The issue must be solved within the frames of the law, either by carrying out criminal proceedings against Shat Harutyunyan or releasing him. There is no political explanation that Harutyunyan is not a political prisoner. And there is no political position that he must be in prison. Vice versa there is a position that he must be released.”

Vardan Harutyunyan, human rights advocate, thinks starting from Harutyunyan’s arrest up to the point of the trial public and political figures, including foreign human rights organizations have stated that the case has a political context and Shant Harutyunyan is a political prisoner.

“We all know that Shant Harutyunyan and his friends’ criminal case started because of their rally, which resulted in clash with the police. In fact Shant Harutyunyan and his friends became a victim of sabotage.”

According to Harutyunyan following the velvet revolution in Armenia RA prime-minister Nikol Pashinyan was clearly stating that Armenia will not have political prisoners.

“Not having political prisoners does not mean taking the key, opening the door of the ell and telling the prisoner to go home. But it means reviewing all the cases, justifying those who have been arrested as a result of political persecutions” Harutyunyan noted and added, “All the political prisoners agreed to write a respective application and were easily set free. But Shant Harutyunyan refuses to write such one and that’s his right. He insists on not writing such a paper, because he was arrested without a paper and let him be released without one.”  

Khurshudyan also noted:

“Shant wanted to make a revolution of values, that was prevented by sabotage and pressures. I think his participation in the parliamentary elections is a must and he must be released as soon as possible. He is political figure who fights for Armenia’s autonomy and he must be given that chance.”  

For more please watch the video.

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